These sort of posts are difficult to write. It can be a dangerous thing to share something from the Bible that has guided a person because it can imply that that verse must be a blanket rule of guidance for all people. This is not the case for me.
Today I want to write this post simply to share my story and how God has encouraged, comforted, and guided me through His Word toward unschooling.
One night, past the time I ought to have been asleep, my mind and heart were in a right whirl. My inner distress as I had been wrestling with this pull of unschooling and my fears and insecurities seem to have come to a head.
I thought I knew what God was showing me, what He had been impressing upon me all along. But I had been fighting Him. Yet, here I was on the edge of accepting this task of unschooling. I was almost letting go and embracing what a big part of me had been wanting to do all along: let the children be and watch what God wanted to teach them.
It was a big step though, and I wanted to be sure that it wasn’t just me. I wanted to know as much as I was able to that it was God’s direction we were heading in. But how could I be sure?
In my heart I cried out, “Father, please give me something from Your Word for me to know this is what You want for us. Please give me something solid to stand on. I know I will try and run away in fear. I will try to regain control because I can’t see the future. People won’t agree and I need to be confident in Your will for us. Please, speak to me through Your Word.”
I continued to pray and wrestle in my thoughts. My mind wandered a little bit. I thought about my quiet times and how I had been going through Galations. And then, this came to my mind:
Before I go any further, I just want to be as clear as I can. I believe we can never be 100% sure that God has spoken to us. I’m not going to go and say, “God told me to unschool”. I can and will say that after prayer for wisdom and guidance, this verse in the Bible gave me a deep sense of relief, comfort, encouragement, and strength. From that moment, I stepped out in faith with the support of my husband.
There are two ways God has encouraged me through Galations 5:1.
Freedom to Choose
Firstly, I was struck by this verse that I am free. In Christ, I am free from sin. I am free from slavery to the Law. I am free to approach God. And I am free to follow Jesus.
That is incredible.
Furthermore, I was struck by the fact that, in this freedom given to me through Jesus’ sacrifice, I am called to – no, commanded to – live in that freedom.
Paul, contextually, is speaking of Christians that were burdening people back under the yoke of the Law of the Old Testament by requiring that they obey the Law in order to be saved. We are saved by grace alone!
In the context of my distress and prayers, I believe the Spirit showed me that a “yoke of slavery” could mean anything that could cause us to step out of the freedom that Christ has given us and which produces the same results as the Law: condemnation, guilt, fear, and slavery.
Friends, I believe very firmly that all Christian parents are free – in Christ – to choose how to educate our children. Whether public school, private school, homeschool – even unschool – if we believe God is leading us in a particular direction, we are free to follow.
For me, as I felt the weight of my own educational life, my fears and insecurities over unschooling – this revelation was truly liberating. We could unschool!
Even though being an unschooler is weird, and different, and many people won’t agree or understand – we could follow the leading of God because we are free.
Freedom to Be
Now the application of the verse narrows down to be more personal for our family and unschooling.
As I have mulled over this beautiful word from the Lord, a new layer of understanding came to me: our children are free, too.
Because it is the status quo, when our children reach the ripe age of five, we send them off to school to be educated…But what if we didn’t follow the status quo?
What if, even if we homeschool, we didn’t follow a curriculum (basically, school-at-home/parent-led)?
What if we dared to step back and let the children be free? Is it only adults who get that choice?
Jesus once said,
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).
Children are people. They are not blank slates to be written on or a possession to be owned. They are God’s. And He has His plan for them all laid out before them – this means that He knows exactly what they need to learn for what He has in store for them. It could be that, by following a more traditional style of homeschooling, I could potentially be blocking God’s will for the children (…at least until I sense His leading to follow that pathway).
So the question we asked ourselves was this: Is how we are educating our children freeing them to know Christ, or is it hindering God’s work in their lives?
I am so thankful for unschooling in these early years and the way God has led us to this freeing way of living as a Christian family.
Thank you for hearing our story!