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One Needful Thing

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While we are teaching our children to study, research, and write, we need to remember that they are establishing and perfecting tools that they will one day use to God’s glory, depending on their unique, individual talents.

Homeschoolers sometimes get so wrapped up in academics they forget the one needful thing.

Remember the story of Mary and Martha

Martha was very busy with preparations as Mary sat at the feet of Christ. When Martha complained about Mary, Jesus answered and said unto her, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:40–42).

Only One Thing is Necessary!

The lesson is simple: only one thing is truly necessary. Everything else that does not promote that one thing is extra. A willingness to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His Word is the most important thing we can ever teach our children. Sensible Martha had many accomplishments, but worry and trouble were her rewards. Mary, on the other hand, was praised for choosing that good thing which was itself her reward and which would not be taken away from her.

Martha’s preparation work was not wrong; in fact, it was important. It was Martha’s focus that was wrong. It is your focus that makes the difference. Social achievement, which the world stresses so much, is important; but it is nothing without Christ.

“But what about academics—math, language arts, history, and science?” Of course these things matter, but only as they sharpen your focus on the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Academic subjects are important tools, but they are only tools, not the goal. The moment academics cloud your view, to whatever degree they slow your pursuit of God’s will, they then move from being helpful tools to what Jesus calls “cares of this life.”

Do Not Let the Important Keep You from the Necessary

Do not let the important keep you from the necessary. And, in Jesus’ words, only one thing is truly necessary. It is a message both simple and profound: simple because the truth of it is not complicated, but perfectly evident, and profound because the truth in everyday life cuts across everything that habit and fleshly indulgence have trained us to accept as important or even necessary. A godly person who is determined to know Jesus above all else will find all academic studies based in the simple reality of all things work(ing) together for good to them who love God and are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Homeschoolers are blessed with time to study God’s Word. Take the time to set strivings and anxieties aside . Discover and understand who Christ is. Sit at His feet and feast at the table of His mercy, forgiveness, and peace. Learn the unseen things of God. The spiritual life is that good part, which shall not be taken away from you! Or from your children!

True wisdom is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding. If you really want to teach true wisdom, spend a significant amount of your homeschool time studying and teaching God’s Word. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

Robin Sampson

Related:

The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach: Bible-Based Homeschooling

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The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach is for all homeschoolers who want to make the Bible the center of their school day. This giant 500+ page book provides you with the methods, program, and resources for a course of study where students spend half the school day studying God’s Word and the other half studying God’s world (academics). Students study history chronologically and science in the order of the days of Creation. This book will encourage, motivate you and instruct you, step by step, how to give your child a Bible-focused, comprehensive education from preschool through high school; one that will train him or her to read, to study, to understand, to love to learn and, most importantly, to desire and seek true wisdom. This approach can be used for all grade levels.

When homeschoolers are asked about this book, one word continues to come up over and over–Wow! Read the excerpt today to see what all the wow is about.


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There Are 2 Responses So Far. »

  1. Thank you for bringing this back into focus. We don’t have a set Bible curriculum or study and it sometimes shows that the importance or the necessity isn’t there.
    We can tell when we’ve drifted too far off the Word or studying the Word when attitudes begin to shift into the negative (often horrible) and when the day or week just isn’t “going right”.
    The main thing should always be the main thing.

  2. I needed this reminder, and so did my oldest daughter. I sent the link to her to read. She is a wonderful daughter and a fine student, but she does get stressed out about school often enough. I want her to remember what is most important. Thank you for reminding us both. :-)

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