Putting Yourself First
In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will drop from a compartment above your seat. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.
Buried in that last line is a life giving truth for homeschool moms: “secure your mask first and then assist your child.” It can seem counter intuitive when you first hear it. In an emergency, don’t we want to act quickly to save our child before ourselves? But, considered biblically, it’s just one more way to express the truth that we moms so often miss: we need to have oxygen flowing to our mask so that we don’t black out while trying to serve our kids.
Yes, this is another exhortation to carve time out of each and every day to meditate on the love of God as displayed in His gospel. The essentials of “touching the hem of the Lord’s garment” so that you may receive His power are these:
- Meditate on the sinfulness of sin. Specifically, your sins from yesterday. To do this, you’ll probably need to have the inerrant Word of God before you so that you have a God’s-eye view of your sins as they really are. We are all more flawed and sinful that we can believe!
- Meditate next on the holiness of God: His character, His incommunicable attributes, His love, His patience, His compassion, and~ supremely~His provision for you to become His child by pouring out all of His holy wrath that you and I deserved on His Son, thus crushing Him in utter agony to death.
- Finally, soak in the amazing nature of grace. In Him, you are a new creature. Because of Him, all things are yours! Your biggest problem has been solved already: you will live for eternity in blessed peace, sinlessness, and joy. Until that time, God has bestowed on you His very presence: the Holy Spirit, resident in your heart.
Fresh from this meditation, you can parent and teach with far more grace, joy, love, and effectiveness!
- The moments when your children become unruly or surly can be transformed from trying moments to teachable ones! Having reminded yourself first that you are a sinner who is amazed by grace, you can seize the opportunity to show your child the sinfulness of sin, the holiness of God, and the amazing nature of grace as you gently correct and instruct him. (Galatians 6:1-2 and 1Thessalonians 5:14).
- On the days when circumstances pile up and you become disheartened and think that you’ll never make it as a homeschooling mom, the gospel is there to agree: you won’t, on your own. But, God! You are not on your own! He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all will graciously give you all that you need. Your children are His children; He works in the scope of decades and ages, not minutes and hours. Because you know the amazing nature of grace, it can be easier to rest in God’s loving sovereignty, and know that when you are weak, He is strong!
- Being freshly aware of the price God paid for your life, and the amazing truth that you are living in and through Christ usually gives us grace for an amazing array of situations, from doing chores to running errands to paying bills to walking the dog in the cold. The love of God in Christ warms our hearts with a deep down peace that then pervades into all areas of our home, including our teaching.
Do we need more patience, grace, faith, and diligence? We get them through the oxygen mask of a daily tryst with our loving God, who then supplies the spiritual oxygen we need daily. Don’t misunderstand. We can get this oxygen without “performing the quiet time.” But, since this is a limited analogy, what I’m really saying is, “Be sure to spend time with Father. He’s eagerly awaiting your coming!”