For some Homeschooling families, being with extended family and attending family reunions is no picnic!
If you are going to be attending a family reunion soon, here are some tips that may help you:
- Be “Prayed Up”
Before you are going to be with family or others who you have reason to believe will not share your beliefs or will attack your decisions regarding Homeschooling, child-training, dress, or way of life, be in serious prayer, binding Satan and bathing yourself in the Word. Be “prayed-up” as they say. You know, I think God has really used family gatherings in my life to cause me to take a good hard look at myself and our immediate family. It has caused me to examine myself, which is very necessary. I need to confess any known sin, and make sure that I’m not haughty and proud. I need to have the right attitude towards others and respond rightly to their comments. So, in this sense, it has been a good thing. When you’re attacked or challenged, thank the Lord for it and don’t be bitter.
- Keep a Clear Conscience
When attending a family reunion you can be walking into a spiritual battle. We must go into them prepared. Keeping a clear conscience is really important. You’ll get clobbered if you try to go into a spiritual battle in your own strength. Get rid of hidden sin. Like the Israelites in the battle of Ai, you can’t have hidden sins, and try to go into a battle and have victory!
- Let your husband do the talking
Whenever possible, let your husband answer any questions, and generally be the spokesman for defending or explaining your beliefs, choices and convictions to others, (especially when at a family reunion of his side of the family!). Stay physically by his side, so you are protected. (Other benefits to this are that you will enjoy the shoulder-to-shoulder time, too. And you will have his help with the children.)
What To Do When You’re Cornered
I have found myself “cornered” sometimes, despite my best efforts. When this happens I shoot up a prayer to the Lord, and by the help of the Holy Spirit, (and trying to respond in a spirit of love, as much as possible), I just do the best that I can. But, when this happens to you, if all is well between God and you, don’t allow these confrontations to undermine your determination to follow what you believe the Lord is leading you to do with raising your children and in your family. Don’t allow these confrontations to shake your confidence in following the Lord, and doing the right thing, as long as, before the Lord, and talking with your husband, you honestly believe you are. But do let it cause you to be on your knees more, confessing any pride, arrogance, haughtiness, selfishness, lack of love for others, etc., etc. We need to humble ourselves so that the Lord doesn’t have to! Confess and correct any bad attitudes toward your “attackers/questioners” and look for opportunities to show love to and for them, and to serve them. If I’m really loving others and looking for ways to serve them, it’s amazing how the hostilities and confrontations dissipate. I think sometimes God has allowed me to endure these trials just so that I would learn to show Christ-like love to certain people (maybe He wanted them to come to Christ and He used this, or maybe He wanted me to learn to love my “enemies” better.) The bottom line when interacting with extended family members is to show love to them while still protecting your children from harm. In an amazingly short time your “fruit” will speak for itself—literally!
What You Have To Look Forward To!
Your wonderful Christ-like teenagers and young adult children will answer for themselves, and share their own convictions about the way you, as a family, do things. They will have made your standards “their own,” assuming the standards are Biblical, and you have shown them why, from the Bible, you do what you do. They will exhibit a love for the Lord, and your harshest critics will now be your most ardent supporters! Your children’s love for the Lord, and Godly lives will show that you did the right thing and they will see that the bad things that some family members thought would happen because of your choices, didn’t! Your teen and grown-up children will now have their own convictions in their own hearts and be the best spokesmen for Homeschooling, and following the ways of God in raising children, as you tried to do. You will be able to sincerely say, “It was by God’s grace, and I just praise Him for the wonderful children we have!” For that is the truth.
May God bless you as you strive to live for the Lord and interact with family this summer!