July 30, 2008 by Stacy McDonald
“May the Lord use this testimony to expand His Kingdom—I am confident that my father’s life was not in vain.” ~ James McDonald V
Many of us struggle with feelings of inadequacy. Many times we feel we can’t homeschool our children (at least not very well) because we believe there is a “right way” and a “wrong way” to do it; and if you’re like me, you’re sure you’ll choose the wrong way!
I just wanted to remind you today that God uses us all in different ways – giving us different methods and resources to teach our own children. There is no right and wrong way as long as we ARE actually training them to the glory of God: relying on His wisdom and strength.
My father-in-law passed from this life last Saturday and it has stirred many emotions and contemplations in the heart of my husband. James was not raised in a Christian home; in fact one could argue whether or not he was actually “raised” at all. In many ways he was a child left to himself. However, by God’s grace and providence, He chose to place James in the home he did and taught him many hard and valuable lessons in the midst of it all. God is faithful.
It’s very common to blame our weaknesses or failings on our parents or on our past and allow it to become a crutch, or an excuse, for why we “can’t” do something. Sometimes we even blame our sin on our upbringing, unwittingly minimizing God’s power and grace. Some may believe they aren’t equipped or capable of training their children well. After all, “That father at church had a better start,” or, “That mom over there was raised in a Christian home, so she probably knows how to handle her children or run her home better than me.”
But remember God is our Redeemer. He redeems more than our souls – He redeems our past…for His glory. He equips us to handle whatever He calls us to accomplish. And He uses our faithfulness, and even our poor upbringing or our past sins, for His own glory.
I invite you to read the most recent post written by my husband, James, where he contemplates the loss of his father.