Many aspects of cults, spiritual abuse, and extremists of any form is about control. These groups want to control minds, souls, and especially actions. Most of the time, fear and shame are used to control others actions. How is this done? Many of the "leaders" of these groups will make sweeping statements such as "You must homeschool to keep your children from evil," "TV will rot your children's souls so throw it out", or "Women are responsible for keeping men pure and bringing back the stay-at-home mom so women need to always wear skirts and dresses", ad nauseam. How is this done among Catholics? It can be heard from the pulpit, in confession, in private spiritual direction, but more often it is seen in publications, books, online e-lists/forums/blogs, and by real people in the pews. Many Catholics espouse these views and try to control the actions of others by judging people and what they are doing, especially their own children.
But can we really control anyone? Well, yes, through fear and shame we can, BUT usually those controlled this way will eventually rebel or have a break down of some form. We cannot control anyone but ourselves and God is in control of all of the rest. Yes, we can do our part by discerning what we feel is best for our family, but God is ultimately in control of everything, including how our children turn out. Do we really feel like He won't provide where we are lacking? Doesn't the Bible say His grace is sufficient? So, if we choose something like public school for our children because we feel led to that, He will provide the grace to see it through if that is His will.
We need to remember that Adam and Eve had the perfect situation, and they blew it. The twelve apostles had the best teacher and one was lost. We all have free will so no matter what we do, our children can choose to reject what we teach them. This to me is a scary thought. You mean no matter what I do, no matter how much I put into this, they can go astray? Yes, it is possible, but there is something we can do. Instead of trying to control the outside (as in what they wear, what they see/hear, etc) we can try to reach their hearts. We do this by spending time with them that we all enjoy, talking with them about many things both important and trivial, by listening to them (without lecturing), and by being a good example to them. Then we can trust that God will bring to completion the work He began. I think these things, more than anything else we can do, will help our children in their walk with God. We can control the outside, but it doesn't mean we will have their hearts and that their hearts will be turned to God.
About Rest for the Weary
I hope you will find this little spot a place of rest and refreshment for your soul. My intention is to build up women in the trenches of homeschooling. This includes veterans who are burned out and former homeschooling moms who have decided for one reason or another to put some or all of their children in school. Thanks for stopping by. Take a deep breath of refreshment for your weary soul.