I love hanging out with friends. I love eating party food. So does my family.
But we don’t go to the local high school football games every week. I don’t take my family. On purpose.
Tailgate parties and football games are not sinful in and of themselves, of course. The reason I don’t bring the kids out every Friday night to experience the thing called Texas high school football night has nothing to do sin, though.
It has everything to do with our vision for our family.
Less than a year after Daniel came into our lives, we started seeing the reasons to homeschool. From the moment we brought him home, the vision for homeschooling our family took shape. HB was a newborn.
It was a long term shape.
And that shape didn’t have public school (or private) in it.
We don’t want to send our kids away to school. That means they won’t experience many things that public school kids do (and honestly that’s part of the benefit of homeschooling), including everything involved in Friday night lights. By going to tailgate parties and public school/private school football games that display only one side of those activities, we would most likely set our children up for disappointment, dissatisfaction, and discontentment.
We would be setting stumbling blocks before our children.
A blessing I received last fall was that a dear friend, who has her kiddos in public school, shared her thoughts with me. She hadn’t invited us to her son’s games because she thought we “didn’t do that”. I was convicted to be sure she knew why. She did. She even said, “Oh, Mindy. You would be showing them only the shiny side of it. They wouldn’t be seeing the every day struggles kids have at public school with ungodliness. I totally get why you wouldn’t want to bring them.” While I was glad she understood our family’s vision, I was quick to tell her we are happy to attend a game in support of a loved one.
Parenting Daniel gave me practice and insight into topics that I hadn’t considered in the previous nine weeks of being a mother and walked me through issues I had never thought of much earlier than most mamas. I am now really grateful that I was forced to think through parenting an older child.
This was one area I quickly saw : protecting the homeschooling vision.
That doesn’t mean we have never gone to a high school football game, we have. We’ve been to show our support and love to friends (and plan to this fall). We just don’t make it our way of life because it’s not actually our way of life.
Hanging out with friends and eating party food are definitely our way of life. So we arrange that as much as possible. ;-)
I am trying more diligently to see inconsistency in my life and to be sure I’m not encouraging in my children the opposite of what I actually want to encourage.
Are you seeking to be consistent to the vision you have for your family/yourself?