Reflections on Patriarchy and Homeschool Movements
By Angela Wittman
While it is a new year and a time for reflection, here are my thoughts on the patriarchy and homeschool movements.
I wasn't part of the movement as Providence didn't allow me to go that way, but I had many friends who were part of it and I often grieved that my family wasn't as "perfect" as I thought theirs appeared to be. You see, I became a Christian as an adult (approximately 22 years ago) and was not raised in a Christian home. My mother had been badly abused by her first husband, a youth minister, and was bitter toward the church. My father still laughs as he tells the story of taking me to church as a child on Easter; the pastor asked him if we attended church regularly, to which I replied "Yes sir! We go every Easter!"
My parents then separated when I was 9 years old, got back together, had a stormy relationship and then finally divorced when I was grown. Yet, through the grace of God, I had some knowledge of Him from my Christian Grandmother (on my mother's side) and then as a teen I began attending a neighborhood church. I eventually met and married my husband, who had a much more stable upbringing.
The early years of our marriage were focused on owning a home and raising our sons. I fell away from attending church and actually became quite miserable and overburdened with unrepentant sin. When my sons reached their early teens, a friend who had become a recent convert to Christianity invited me to church. As I began thinking of a polite way to refuse, a thought occurred to me that this might be my last chance to get right with God, so I accepted her invitation and was soon reborn into the Christian faith which I accepted wholeheartedly. However, my husband did not accept it and our marriage was a bit rough for a decade or so.
During these early years of my conversion, I would often compare my circumstances to those of my friends who appeared to have perfect marriages, husbands, children and who were pioneers in the homeschool movement. Frankly, I felt inferior, yet I continued to pray and hope my circumstances would change.
Then as the children of the homeschool pioneers became of age, some rebelled and fell victim to the ungodly culture in America, just as my sons had done. Oh, how my heart grieves for those children whose parents sacrificed so much to raise them the best way they knew how. And sadly, now I'm reading testimonies from some of the pioneering women who appear to be having grave doubts about the way they raised their children.
Perhaps these families could use a bit of encouragement from one who watched and admired their families? None of us are perfect and while your children may have succumbed to the surrounding culture after you did everything in your power to raise them as disciples of Christ, the story isn't over yet! Yes, they might be in open rebellion against everything you taught them, but as long as there is breath in their lungs, there is still hope. We serve a living, sovereign God and frankly, He's the Author and Finisher of their faith. So, please take heart while continuing to pray for your children, and thank the good Lord for helping you to see where you might have gone wrong and how to make amends.
May the good Lord bless His people in the coming year, and help us to encourage and love one another. In Lord Jesus' Name, I pray, amen.