Homeschooling when you have little toddlers or preschoolers around is a challenge, to say the least. One of the most challenging parts of being a mom, in fact, is learning how to juggle the multitude of responsibilities that faces you in a day, from parenting various ages of children to handling all the different aspects of a home, sometimes while also maintaining a job or ministry. Sometimes I wonder if one of the reasons God asks me to “be fruitful and multiply” is so that I’ll learn valuable “have dominion over the earth” skills (Genesis 1:28). What kingdom responsibilities will He give me in eternity? How is today a preparation for then? How unprepared would I have been if He had not blessed me with all these little ones? (See also Titus 2:4-5).
Your children also need to learn eternal lessons. One of the lessons they need to learn at your knee is obedience to authority. Just as Jesus submitted to His heavenly Father, we must also teach our children to submit to our God-given authority. The Bible says that we are to teach them in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4) – but teach them we must! The Bible says this is best done when “you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:7, NIV). It also says you are to teach them “diligently,” which means constantly, attentively, persistently, and with persevering attention.
Another eternal lesson your children need you to teach them is what their heavenly Father is like. Just this week, someone remarked that one of the reasons she loved God so much was “because I know He cares and loves me even with the most horriblest things.” Yes, He does, but He also disciplines those He loves so that they won’t continue doing those “horriblest” things and reaping the deadly consequences (Proverbs 13:24, Hebrews 12:6). So to be an accurate picture of our Heavenly Father, we must put up with the unlovely things that a preschooler is prone to do, while never neglecting the diligent training that will spare him from a lifetime of evil consequences.
Finally, both you and your children all need to learn how to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31). True love for God is always manifested in love for others. What better place is there to learn this than at home? If you’re anything like me, you find it easy to love the world and difficult to love a brood of loud children. Never forget that God is working on your heart, and that you’re in eternal training yourself. However, this does not negate the importance of training your children how to love each other, even when it’s a lesson you’re still learning yourself.
Dominion and management of the home, order in the home, submission to authority, loving the unlovely, sharing, diligent training. These words all describe the goals of the mother of toddlers and preschoolers. Why not write down the ones you especially need to focus on this year?