The encouragement addiction

As a home educating mom with a few years under my belt I’ve been around the block a few times. And in the way of home education resources there aren’t too many things I haven’t read or seen out there. When I feel I am struggling with a situation in my little homeschool I’m glad I know where to go to find some instant (or at least pretty quick) answers. After many years of this it got me thinking. I’m not so sure this is a good thing.

When writing to a friend a few months ago I asked a question in passing that has haunted me ever since: why are home educators in need of so much encouragement? We are probably the only segment of the American population that has so many resources and materials devoted to making us comfortable with our choices. Who else gets constant reassurance that they are okay, that they are doing the right thing, using the right materials, doing it the right way? Don’t get me wrong we all need encouragement. It’s scriptural to encourage one another, but I think it has replaced faith to some degree.

Why am I so reluctant to trade my life of faith for the quick affirmations of well-meaning friends? Why do I look to those around me for answers and not to God Who has all wisdom?  I shortchange myself with a quick satisfaction and once again deny myself the contentment of God’s answers in God’s time. Instead of laying my worries and concerns at His feet I pick up a magazine or visit a web site for a dose of peace. But it never lasts for long and I’m right back where I started.

So the cycle goes on and on. We feel the need for constant intermittent encouragement to satisfy the doubts and fears. This we pass on to our children without realizing it. Now we may be training another generation to require the same reassurances. They are not left with questions to wrestle or self-esteem in doubt. Soothing words flow in a stream of consciousness we probably don’t even realize we are perpetuating.

We should look for encouragement to God’s Word. In difficult times David encouraged himself in the Lord (1 Sam. 30:6, Ps. 42:11). Jude admonished his readers to build themselves up in their most holy faith through prayer (Jude 20). Today’s Christians who are persecuted and languish in prison rely on their scripture memory and their faith to encourage themselves through perilous circumstances. Encouragement has its place, but I want to lean on the Lord and take the pressure off my friends. They are not my Holy Spirit and I never want to put them in such a place.

In closing, if I may offer you a bit of encouragement inspiration, I leave you with my new favorite song, by Sara Groves. And the lyrics to another song that I think fits this post.

You are my strength
Strength like no other
Strength like no other
Reaches to me

You are my hope
Hope like no other
Hope like no other
Reaches to me

In the fullness of Your grace
In the power of Your Name
You lift me up
You lift me up

Unfailing love
Stronger than mountains
Deeper than oceans
Reaches to me

Your love O Lord
Reaches to the heavens
Your faithfulness
Reaches to the skies

You Are My Strength by Reuben Morgan

Comments

  1. Yes. Thank you! And I wonder if having so many resources doesn’t exasperate the situation. As other homeschoolers share what they are doing, we begin to question our choices. There is no perfect curriculum, but their is a perfect teacher, the Holy Spirit.

  2. Oh I agree. It is so easy to peek into others’ lives, or what others want us to see as their lives. Perception is key right? And the bewildering choices. The moms who go to conferences are confronted with materials they didn’t know they needed. It does breed dissatisfaction. The people selling the materials are supposed to make you wonder, that’s how they sell their product. Not to fault them, that’s just how sales works.

    And today’s society is so ADD. Show me something shiny every 10 minutes to keep me entertained. I don’t want to sit with my thoughts. I don’t want to meditate on the Lord. I just want constant input, constant reassurance, constant constant…

  3. That’s so true. Our sin nature craves it and we soak it in while forgetting to look to our very foundation!

  4. Thank you for this reminder! I was in need of it today. Why do we look outward when THE Answer is inward? Human flesh wants more and more but we need to realize we have more on the inside then this world can offer from the outside. Thank You for reminding me to look inward and into God’s Word. Many blessings to you my friend!

  5. Just dropping in to say hello & hoping all is well with you.

  6. Thanks Summer and Malissa! It’s nice to see I’m the only one! Both of you make great points.

    Thanks for dropping by, ladybugsdandelions. Always nice to have you around.

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