Wednesday, August 18, 2010

School Rules ?!?! ... Relationships

Yesterday afternoon when we got home from the last of the "first things" for our 2 teens this year, I just fell asleep. It's EXHAUSTING worrying about potential needs and future problems and things out of my control!!! :) So ... now we get down to the business of living out the days of a school year. This should be a piece of cake for me! After all, I've been a public school teacher, a college professor, a student teaching mentor, an adult ed trainer, a home school teacher, and a parent of students in home school, Christian school, and public school. This year I have one student in a huge public high school, where I'll be a PTA mom, and I have one at home for school, with a combo of co-ops. So much of my life has been "school." I should be totally cool with all of it. But school is "huge" in a student's life at any age, and it never ceases to remind me to pray. School stirs up a lot in life, so I want to take the rest of the week to reflect on a few things school tends "to rule." If school for you means having a college student, a kindergartner, a middle schooler, a graduate student spouse, being a graduate student, or just driving through lovely "school zones," this week is for you. ;)

Because of the nature of school, it has a tendency to rule our relationships. In fact, it can be the DEATH of our relationships. Having a traditionally schooled student, I feel like I'm a hostage to the school calendar. But in my 7th year of home schooling (not consecutive), I know home schooling did a lot of ruling of my schedule, my thoughts, the dining room table (grrr), and relationships. Even when Jeff was working on his master's degree, his schooling tended to rule our relationship. The all encompassing nature of education demands that our schedules, routines, and focuses adapt to allow a student to learn and grow. And we excuse so many bad patterns by saying it's all for the growth and learning of our loved ones, our students, or ourselves. So why is there "a rub" for our relationships?

School is one of those good things God can use in our lives to strengthen us and get us ready to do what He's called us to do (and our kids and our spouses), but Satan sees an opportunity to twist it for evil.

  • If he can take a spouse working on a master's degree and consume them completely, he's driven a wedge in a marriage.
  • If he can spoil the communication between a teen and her parent, he's made a crack in their parenting.
  • If he can dominate a home schooling mom's energy and affection so her husband gets the "crumbs," he has found a way to ruin a family.
  • If he can take every spare moment of a teacher's thoughts so she believes she doesn't have time to be in God's Word, he has robbed that classroom of her influence as a believer.

In other words ..... School is NOT supposed to RULE our relationships.

School may have started, but sweet readers, we can't let it become our master! It is still just a piece of our lives. Can I repeat that for myself? School is still just a piece of our lives. Remember, this is coming from the voice of the teacher, grad school spouse, professor, trainer, home school parent, student, and parent. School is still just a piece of our lives. It is not the master of our relationships.

So what is outside the rule of school?

  • - Children still obey their parents and honor mom and dad. (Eph. 6:1, Deut. 5:16)
  • - Wives still cleave to husbands and respect them. (1 Peter 3:1-6)
  • - A husband still loves his wife like his own body. (Eph. 5:28)
  • - Students/parents are still part of the body of Christ, meant to worship & serve. (Rom. 12:4-6)
  • - Individuals still spend time communicating with God & learning from His Word. (Matt. 11:28-29)

School does NOT rule our relationships. God still does that.

I needed to say that .... for myself. I need that reminder. Maybe you do too. Do you fall into the trap of letting school rule? Don't be afraid of the "school" in your life, and don't let it be the death of your relationships. It isn't your master. Jesus still has that distinction, and He does it so well.

Tomorrow ... Does school rule our identity?

3 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Warren Baldwin said...

Excellent thoughts, Julie. We frequently revise schedules, even if only briefly, in the interests of what is best for our family at the time. Some people disagree with us, but I tend to stand pretty firm that family concerns must come first. Good food for thought here. wb

(Julie, I'm having trouble posting a comment. A box pops up asking for my name, email address and web address. If I type the web address it extends the box down to where I can't hit "post." Even if I slide the cursor or the slide down (on the right side of the page) it won't show "post." wb)

Susan said...

Great post Julie!! Something everyone with school aged children need to hear.

Marieanne said...

Interesting...this never would have occurred to me. My younger daughter attends a public school with an extremely active and social PTO. There are monthly 'family nights' at local restaurants, school-based activities in the evenings and on the weekends, etc. Occasionally we will attend, but more often than not we prefer to have our 'family time' at home. There's a lot of pressure - both covert and overt - to attend these functions. I think I will feel a little