62 thoughts on “Dear Church, let’s talk about what REALLY matters

  1. What a beautifully written post. (I hope it’s okay for a guy to chime in on a mom.com site.) 🙂

    I know that there are tons more issues that you COULD have listed here, but the omission of a few stand out to me that I would love to see you beautifully address, too…

    Major: Biblical Doctrines
    Minor: how our particular tradition chooses to practice those doctrines in everyday life.

    Major: Benevolence
    Minor: the evangelism/serving the needs of others dichotomy that pits whether evangelism or helping should be the goal of the church (…when in fact, one might argue that evangelism IS an act of benevolence, and that benevolence is an act of evangelism when done in the name of Christ).

    Major: Worship
    Minor: how we choose to express our worship

    The list does go on and on, doesn’t it? 🙂

  2. Fantastic food-for-thought as I start my day. Thank you for sharing your feelings and letting God shine through you. By the way… LOVE your name! 🙂

  3. Thank you 🙂 As long as it all points back to His glory, its good. The devil will throw so many stumbling blocks in our paths, but if we have the right “tool” {Jesus Christ} then we can jump right over those blocks. Wonderful post!

  4. Wonderful post! We are called to know and follow Jesus and love others. Following rules feels easier, but it does not give us the freedom that Christ died to give us. Thanks for the reminder. Feeling a little in a ditch, but I do know the true source of hope and change.

  5. That was so well said and should go viral! What freedom we all have when we focus on the majors in our lives instead of the minors in others. Thank you for the convicting and encouraging post.

  6. I had this exact same revelation recently. I stopped following God and started to follow man-made formulas. The results were 2 years lost to anger, frustration and misery. I had no joy, no freshness of spirit. AND my family suffered the negative effects as well. Thankfully, Jesus has opened my eyes to see His wonderful works again! My husband and children have forgiven me and we are on a new path…one following closely after our Savior! What a relief!

  7. This is the best article I’ve read in quite awhile, it is so relevant! we homeschool too, I’ll have to look up your other articles. I am always amazed at how much division that alone causes, just from the defensive stance people take when they find out. I am not trying to convert anyone 🙂 I do think it is the most excellent route for my family. I will not partake in discussions though where it becomes a you/or us take.

  8. I Saw you in Greenville for the 1st time this weekend, The class was real life homeschooling! I enjoyed that class so much that I laughed and told my husband I was going to stalk you (JOKE I would never really do that). So after the class I went to all of your other classes, liked you on Facebook, joined the blog… You get the idea. Also at the homeschool convention I bought the cd’s of your classed that I missed.
    The point to this story being I got the biggest blessing of all from the cd: better for the best: keeping Christ as the center of your homeschool.
    the whole lesson was awesome but what really got me was when you quoted the familiar scripture “Gods strength is made perfect in weakness”. I literally broke down into tears.
    Aside from my husband no one in my family is supporting my decision to homeschool my children. Its like they believe its child abuse. Finally my Grandmother asked me if I really believed that I was smart enough to homeschool, and that really hurt. I’ve been doubting myself ever since.
    Your gentle reminder that it was not about me and my abilities was just what I needed. Thank you so much for the much need encouragement!

    1. PLEASE stalk me! My kitchen needs cleaning! 🙂 You can do all things through Christ, Jamie! Keep trusting—God’s got this. Blessings <3

    2. Don’t worry what others think about you homeschooling your
      children, you are doing the right thing. If I was raising children today I would do it. You will do just fine, they have guide lines for you to follow, and that should be a big help. I just pray that common core isn’t in homeschooling yet. It is my opinion that common core is not needed in our schools,education needs help but that’s not the answer. We need God back in our schools,everything fell apart when He was kicked out. I am 78, when I went school we were allowed to pray and say the pledge of alegence to our flag every morning. Pray about home schooling, get answers from God. Listen to your heart. God bless you.

      1. My reply was for the lady that said her grandma seemed to think she wasn’t smart enough to homeschool her children. I guess I hit the wrong reply. Sorry.

    3. Hang in there. My mother told me that I wasn’t smart enough to teach my children either, but 20 years later I am still homeschooling having graduated four of them. They aren’t perfect kids, but I didn’t stunt them beyond an ability to support themselves and learn beyond me. It really does hurt when family says these things. However, if you are doing what God has called you to do, you need not fear. Lifting you up in prayer.

  9. good article! I didn’t realize that there are people out there that would “worship” homeschooling… but i guess there must be.
    However, it is all summed up in Ecclesiastes 7:16
    “16 Do not be overly righteous,
    Nor be overly wise:
    Why should you destroy yourself? ”
    in other words, we should have balance in all we do.
    and. Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
    The Bible has all the answers. we just have to want to see and live them.

  10. Thank you. Sometimes I feel that some Christians have gone to such an extreme with their righteousness that they forget that there are many Christians (myself included) who work in public schools and there are many wonderful Christian students from the most loving of families at these schools. One blogging mom referred to public school students as “freaks.” Jesus would never have said such a thing. Thank you for letting me get that off of my chest.

  11. AMEN! I have been beaten down by all of those minors at one point or another. The church will never be an effective voice to bring people to Christ if we are so preoccupied with trying to feel holier than our neighbors by pointing out what we perceive to be their faults.

    Great great article!

  12. Amen! I also was just speaking to a friend about this today. Let’s focus on Jesus and NOT the nonessential. Thank you Jesus for your grace as we all learn this. I too am a recovering Pharisee. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Excellent article! If only the fighting among believes would stop and that energy spent on getting the gospel into the hands of the lost around the world! Thank you.

  14. Heidi, I was so encouraged by you in Greenville. Thank you for speaking the truth in love and for allowing God to use you for His glory and our good. I pray my children and husband will continue to see changes in me as I read your books and work to change! It is hard to put down the technology!

  15. Thank you from a Jesus-loving, pants wearing, mother of 1 public school-attending child! My husband and I are both certified teachers and we have family and many close friends who homeschool. Before our daughter entered school we prayed about where God wanted her. We were open to homeschooling. However, we felt strongly that God wanted her in our local school. And…2 years in a row, she had believers as her teachers! We take each year as it comes, knowing that our daughter belongs to God first. We trust Him and know that if this is really where He wants our daughter, then he will protect her.

  16. Heidi,
    I expected many post to be angry about this article. I’m happy to see so many who agree. Our family was one of those for many years, it is so freeing to have that grace!!!! Wonderful article. Thanks for being willing to speak about it!

  17. Thank you for writing this. It is so true. While I’m saddened by the recent events that have left families devastated and confused, I praise God that their eyes are being opened and they now have the opportunity to walk in real freedom and joy in Christ.

  18. We share the same frustrations.

    I do believe, however, that homeschooling is one of the answers to cultural issues families like mine are dealing with. When you live in an area that supports corporal punishment in public schools and bullying is dealt with by “letting them fight it out”, the ability to homeschool is a way to keep your children safe. When the high school your child is attending has multiple suicides – including a staff member – within the course of one year and refuses to have a counselor on staff, the ability to homeschool is a life-saving device. For families like mine, the ability to homeschool is indeed a help from the Lord.

    1. Totally agree with you, Mollie. My point is directed more toward making it an idol or accusing others of “sinning” if they choose not to homeschool. I appreciate your comments!

  19. Thank you Heidi!
    Well stated and proclaimed! It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1. “Doctrine” that seeks to control is not the gospel. Jesus always invites never controls.”Doctrine” that violates the gift of fee will to enter into a loving relationship with Christ is a sentence to shackles! “Doctrine” that offers the secrete recipe to success is an idol. I agree…let’s major on the majors! Thank you again Heidi…..love reading your posts:)

  20. You’ve hit the nail on the head! Thankfully we never got sucked into those twisted branches of the homeschool movement, but we certainly saw the effects in friends who did. It just made our hearts hurt.

    Music is another area that we see as very divisive, and I’m not talking about religious vs secular, but those who adhere to a very rigid and narrow view of what is acceptable within Christian music.

    1. Kim, as a worship pastor’s wife, I totally get the music issue. It should go under “minors!” Praising Jesus: Major 🙂 Blessings to you!

  21. Just nodding my head as I read. The one thing that jumped out at me is that even though we home schooled and believed it was the best way, I also taught for four years in a Lutheran high school. Most of those parents weren’t going to home school. Does that make them bad parents? No. Many people can’t stay home and home school. We need to have the best schools and teachers we can for them. We need to ground our children in Christian doctrine no matter where they school. We need to support those who use the schools because they are NOT all going to home school even if they could. How many of us were home schooled? Yet here were are as Christian parents. God can work in the schools, too. Christian teachers are in the schools. There are excellent Christian schools and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod runs many of them. But I’ve run into a number of home schooler so focused on “everyone should home school”, that they alienate others. That’s not how we’re supposed to do things.

    OK. End of excited response. Keep on writing and God bless.


    1. Great to hear your thoughts, Janet. I think it’s clear that we should not stick our heads in the sand; neither should we think our way is the only right way (unless we’re talking about salvation!) I went to a Christian school as well, and my husband was educated in the public school. A main thing: that we KNOW what our children are being taught. Many parents want to drop and run— and their kids end up with totally ungodly worldviews and all kinds of issues. Being involved and aware is essential!

  22. I loved this.

    I have 3 children, one less than the seemingly biblical minimum of 4. Or that’s what it feels like. I cry every time a friend announces they are having their fourth. Not just one cry, mind you. A week of crying and despairing. I hope this stops soon. I pray that God will help me through this– but I’ve been around SO much that ties having faith with having unlimited children. Or having a lot of kids makes you a good mom (really, just means you are fertile). I KNOW what is the truth but I still beat myself up over it.

  23. I heard you in Greenville and it was a huge blessing. Thank you, again, for setting things straight. Why must people get so hung up on the minor details?? If we would just spend our time on the major things imagine the impact it would have for the kingdom!

    God bless, Heidi!

  24. This is amazing! This is exactly the things that God has been laying on my heart! And you put it into words perfectly! Thank you!

  25. Finally someone put into words what I’ve wanted to say for a long time. Another “Major” you didn’t mention is treating the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit. The “Minors” are lists of “terrible” foods to avoid. It makes me hungry just thinking about them 😉

  26. I homeschooled for several years, so when I finally decided to send my younger children to public school, I had serious fears that I was condemning them to hell. I think my kids were fairly typical kids who hated anything that looked like work. If I homeschooled, they would hate me for making them work. If I sent them to Christian school, they would hate the church for making them work, so I sent them to public school. Now they could hate that and I could be the good guy and help them with their homework! It evidently worked. As it turned out, the kids who spent the longest time in public school, came out the strongest, most out-spoken Christians.

    If homeschool is working for you, great! Just know that it is not for evveryone and that there are other viable options and homeschooling is no guarantee that your children will be saved and walk in the light.

  27. Thank you so much for this. It’s really a lot of what I’ve been discovering and thinking about over the past years.

  28. I saw you speak at the Indy conference today, and I’m so glad! I honestly didn’t know who you were when I walked in, but now I’m grateful for how much peace you brought to my anxious-over-starting-homeschooling heart. I plan to major in the majors now, and I’m done freaking out about the minors. 🙂

  29. I was fortunate to hear you speak (4 times!) in Indianapolis, IN over the weekend. My six year old son attended with me and also enjoyed your talks. 🙂 When listing items in his prayer journal Friday night, he included, “I liked going to the convention and listening to the silly lady.” That silly lady is you. 🙂

    1. I *love* being the “silly” lady! Great! Thanks for stopping by my blog, Jess, and I’m glad you were in Indy. Great folks there at IAHE. ((hugs!))

  30. Oh, My Dear Heidi, You have said what I think I already knew and needed to hear many years ago. After six kids and 30 years of home schooling,i can see how so many of us have fallen into following what looked goood. When we were pregnant with our first, my husband and I attended the IBYC.
    Some sounded good but the cult aspect wasn’t apparent. Years later the fruits of it became too obvious. Families would not attend the hs skate day because of the music, would not attend a support group if the leader was not a submisive wife…Later there were defecters who rushed to Doug.
    THANK YOU for calling it what it is! We have followed everything but jesus!

    1. Sweet Luci, I think it is just human nature. We want a “formula.” We want someone to give us the answers. It’s harder to just sit quietly before the Lord and read the Bible than it is to buy a book and follow someone else’s rules. I hear you. I appreciate your comments. Blessings! -heidi

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