Today I’m tackling a few questions from readers on the podcast and encouraging you away from giving God lip service. Let’s be who we tell our children, our relatives, our friends we are—even when no one’s looking. Listen in, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
Transcribed version of podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Luke 1:31-38
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Hey you guys, this is Heidi St. John. Thank you for tuning into the podcast today. I’m so glad you guys are here. Today is Wednesday, March 4th. This is episode 893. I’m going to take some questions from listeners today and also encourage you away from just giving God lip service. Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
Wow. So thanks for everybody who wished me a happy birthday. My 50th birthday was yesterday and I told my gals over at MomStrong International last week, that I was feeling kind of a little on the melancholy side. I turned 40 and I was like, “Yes, 40. This is so great. I’ve heard so many great things about turning 40.” And I turned 50 and I’m like, “Oh my goodness, look at the gray hair.” I don’t even know, you guys pray for me. I don’t know what my problem is. I was like, “This is not okay.” Had a little bit of a funky melancholy attitude about it, and I’ve been surrounded by people who love me all week long and I am so grateful that the Lord has given me 50 years to learn to know Him better and to love him more and really surrounded my husband and myself with most amazing people, not the least of which are our children.
And we’ve got some wonderful people we work with at Firmly Planted Family and over at MomStrong International. So, I wanted to say thank you. Several of you have sent me birthday cards. You know what? Thank you so much. Like I said, this was, I don’t typically, I’m not a sentimental sap. I’m really not. But this year was a rough one, so thanks you guys for doing that. There’s a lot of stuff, I think, going on in the culture, obviously going on in the culture right now. I mean, a lot of things politically. Hello, Super Tuesday was just yesterday. And my husband said he thought that Super Tuesday was a great day for me to have a birthday. So, I looked at it that way because that was the only good thing I could see coming out of Super Tuesday and we have a lot of things to be praying for in the culture right now.
We have a church that is, I think beginning just to wake up. I feel like there is a separating happening between the men and women who really claim the name of Jesus and want to walk with him and want to study His Word, and those who just want to give Him lip service. And we have certainly seen a lot of that. Like I’ve told you before, I don’t understand how a person can claim the name of Jesus and be pro choice. I really don’t. I’m not trying to hurt your feelings, I just don’t get it.
In Mark 7:6, this is out of the New Living Translation, Jesus replied, “You hypocrites. Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you for he wrote, these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” And I guess that’s sort of where I want to take this a little bit today because we want our hearts to be so close to the Lord that if His heart is grieved by something, our hearts grieve too. And I don’t know if you guys, have you ever been tempted to give God lip service? I have. I’ll just be honest. I have given Him lip service when I’ve allowed myself to watch things on Amazon Prime or Netflix, before we canceled it, that don’t please the Lord. And then tell my children to be careful what they watch. That’s lip service. Right? Ouch.
So, the next time you are tempted to give God lip service, remember that God sees hypocrisy for what it is. And honestly our kids do too. So, we can’t say we trust the Lord and then behave in a manner that shows that we don’t trust Him. We can’t say that we believe God’s Word is consistent with his creation and his love for life, and then not defend it. We can’t say that we believe God’s Word and then fail to disciple our children. We can’t say that we believe that God is good and then in our lives act as though we don’t believe that at all because we’ve had a bad thing happen to us. We have an opportunity to live a life of authenticity before the Lord and to not be hypocrites.
And I’m just going to encourage you, the way the Lord has been encouraging me. It’s not so much about what we’re doing as it is… I mean, of course it is about that… but it’s also about what we’re not doing. Opportunities that God gives us to serve him that we don’t take or opportunities for us to speak and we don’t speak. This is why I am so passionate about Faith That Speaks. I hope you guys will come out. I’m telling you what, what we’re seeing God do through the ministry that is Faith That Speaks is phenomenal. And Kathy Barnett and Elizabeth Johnson and myself, and we’ll be adding speakers to the lineup. I’ve always told people the speaker lineup is going to change. I’m looking for women who are off the bench, whose faith is already speaking.
Eventually, we may open it up to everyone, because I have some wonderful men friends in my life who would be phenomenal encouragement to you, and I think we’re going to start seeing some of those guys come and speak on that platform as well, who know that our faith should speak. It’s the reason that we started MomStrong International. Someone asked me, I guess on my birthday, why Jay and I were involved…what possibly could motivate us to really lay down our lives to start so many things? MomStrong International, the Homeschool Resource Center, the board of directors here at Firmly Planted Family. The books that I write, the speaking that we do, the conference Faith That Speaks. It’s because we realize that, our lives don’t belong to us. And when we leave, we want to leave a legacy behind for our grandchildren and for the people in our neighborhood. Right?
And don’t you love that part about Mr. Rogers? “These are the people in my neighborhood.” That’s why I go down to the school board meetings, even though my kids aren’t in public school, because these are the people in my neighborhood. And God calls us to a place of authenticity. And so rather than giving God lip service by reading His Word, someone said to me a couple of weeks ago, “Well, Heidi, just pray about it,” and you guys, uh, it rubs me the wrong way because I know God wants us to pray about it and we are to pray. And sometimes that prayer will lead us to inaction when everything we want, everything inside of us says action, action, action. “Lord set me loose on that one. I want to deal with that one.” And the Lord says, “Nope, not for you. Sit still, be quiet. Sit down.”
But more often than not, what I see God doing in the lives of people in Rahab, Ruth, oh my goodness, you guys. Deborah, Jael, David, all throughout Scripture, Moses, Joshua, Aaron, these are people that God spoke to and then they acted in obedience. We need to act in obedience. God sees our hypocrisy for what it is and honestly you guys our kids see it too. Our children are going to be an awful lot like we are. Right? That’s Luke 6:40, “When a student is fully trained he will be like his teacher.” When a child is fully trained, she’ll be like her parents. So, let’s be who we tell our children we are and who we tell our relatives and our friends that we are, and the people in our circle of influence, even when no one’s looking. Let’s be those people. So, I hope you guys are encouraged by what we’re doing at MomStrong International.
If you’ve not joined us there, can I just encourage you to do that. If you’re not familiar with what we’re doing at MSI, it is a monthly Bible study, and in fact this is a great time. Somebody asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said, “I want 100 million women to study God’s Word with me because I think it changes lives.” And if you’re interested in studying God’s Word, I’m just going to encourage you now to jump in. This is a really great time. We’re studying the book of Luke for the month of March and to see how Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise in so many ways. In so many ways, he is the fulfillment, and I think you guys are going to be blessed. If you haven’t checked it out, you can do the Scripture Writing Challenge. We write a new one every single month for you and the scripture writing challenge corresponds with the Bible study.
Now, I’ve been doing a scripture writing challenge for at least five years, and I’m always telling women, “Listen, a few minutes in the Bible every day, it literally will change your life.” Because the Bible says that God’s Word is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and there’s power in it and there’s discernment. You begin to get discerning eyes when you study God’s Word. And so, I hope you guys will join us at momstronginternational.com. Sign up for the Bible study. You can become a leader, doesn’t cost you anything to become a leader, and you can start saying, “Hey,” to your neighbors and your women’s, homeschool friends, or whatever. We’re having a Bible study at my house and it meets every Tuesday or whatever day it is. Maybe you meet every other Wednesday or maybe you meet Saturday mornings once a month, but come together and talk about what God is doing.
Read His Word together and see if it won’t change your life. It really will. People sometimes say, “How do you get the passion that you have to speak the way you do?” It comes from the Lord. And every single one of you listening to this today, God has something he wants you to do, and it may not be to start a podcast or write a book. It might be reach that neighbor next door to you who desperately needs to hear about Jesus. It might be go down to the public school and get involved in the free lunch program. But just don’t put your kids in public school, please.
All right. I’m going to get to some of your questions. You guys are sending me so many questions. The queue is full. Keep them coming. You can go to heidistjohn.com/mailboxmonday to submit your questions to me, and I’m going to read a couple of them to you today.
These are kind of easier ones. On Monday I addressed the topic of the Enneagram. I know some of you were frustrated by that because I know some of you were just like, you wanted me to say it’s from the devil, and the other ones wanted me to say, “No, it’s super great.” I actually don’t think it’s either of those things. And if I was going to side with one of them, I think I might side against it rather than for it. And so just because I see so many things that sort of bother me about it. And so, I’m going to encourage you guys back to a place of prayer, and back to a place of saying, “Lord, help me, give me insights, show me what I should do.” And then trust that God will lead you, because that’s what God does.
That’s what the Holy Spirit does. And I’m going to stick with the Otter and the Lion and the, whatever that was. I did that personality test a long time ago, and it worked for me and it made sense. So, I don’t need a new one. So, I’m good. All right. Here’s a couple of questions. Here’s the first one that came in, she said, “Heidi, would you please define homeschooling? I’m running into more and more situations where people claim to be, quote, homeschooling, but their kid is home alone and online schooling or they’re not really mentoring, training, and discipling their children. Today on the show, you mentioned homeschooling is the gold standard. Could you please define it?” All right. That’s a great question. Thanks for submitting that question.
Homeschooling… Okay, first of all, let me say what it’s not. Homeschooling is not, I don’t believe, public school at home, because that’s somebody giving you a prescribed curriculum. I think homeschooling is when parents decide to take 100% charge of their child’s education. Now, that does not mean that you teach every single subject, and I actually feel sad. I’m not going to sit here and say that the kid who’s doing online schooling isn’t homeschooling, because that child is at home. But I feel very sad for the increasing number of children that I meet out on the road whose parents bring them home only to basically ignore them and put them in online schools. Which frankly, if you don’t know who that online school is being run by, it could be just as bad as the public school.
So, I want to be really careful not to get caught up… I guess, I sort of did just get caught up in it. I want to be really careful not to get caught up in the semantics of “Well, you’re a homeschooler but you’re not a homeschooler.” To me, homeschooling, the definition, the heart of homeschooling, is parents taking responsibility for the education of their children. Period. End of story. So, we know what our kids are learning. We know who our kids as students and the parents become their primary teachers. So, and frankly you guys, I have loved, my husband and I both, I’ve loved homeschooling our kids over the years, but there have been some subjects that I am loathe to teach. You’re never going to see me teach a chemistry class. Does that mean I’m not homeschooling them? No. Homeschooling means I am responsible for the nurture and upbringing, and specifically as it relates to education of my child. And so, I would be less inclined to attack this person who has their child at home alone online schooling by saying, “You’re not a true homeschooler.”
And I’d be more inclined to say, “You’re missing an opportunity to disciple your child. Don’t miss it. Don’t miss it.” And so when I say homeschooling is the gold standard, the reason I say that homeschooling is the gold standard, is because it’s an opportunity for parents to be intimately acquainted with their child’s education and driving really in the driver’s seat of their child’s education. So, to me that’s probably the most important part.
Here’s another question about homeschooling. “Hey Heidi, I’m a stay-at-home homeschooling mom to three kids, 10, seven, and five. We’ve been homeschooling for a little over three years and my husband is still not a hundred percent on board. We initially started homeschooling so we could travel with him for work, but now we’re no longer traveling. He is constantly reminding me that our kids will go back to public school. If we have any issues come up with homeschooling, he thinks they would be doing better in public school. Therefore, I can’t relax and enjoy my kids because I’m so scared that they won’t be on track if that horrific day came.
He would rather not listen to why I think homeschooling is best for them. It only starts a fight and I just shut down. I feel like we battle a lot over not being equally yoked. I know I’m supposed to submit to my husband’s authority. My husband is a Christian, but does not read the Bible or lead a biblical life. I pray on this issue everyday, but would love to know your thoughts on submitting to a husband when it’s not for the best and I know in my heart what God wants us to be doing.”
All right. So, this is a multifaceted question and I hear your heartbreak in it. And so I’m going to be as tender as I can. So the first thing I would like to admonish any husband who’s doing this to their wife, Knock it off. Knock it off. Your wife is working hard to homeschool your kids, and the last thing she needs to hear is you come home from work and ask her what lessons they’ve accomplished that day. I’m here to tell you right now, your wife’s worst day homeschooling can be better than your kid’s best day in a public school being indoctrinated and taught all kinds of ridiculousness by people who don’t love the Lord. And so, over the 20 some odd years that I have been homeschooling, one of the greatest blessings of my life has been my husband coming home and just encouraging me. Because guess what you guys? Men especially, lean in. When you encourage your wife, when you say, “You are doing such a great job,” guess what she’s going to want to do?
She’s going to want to be a better wife. She’s going to want to be a better mother. We don’t encourage anyone… I mean, wives you don’t encourage your husbands when you nag him and tell him how much money you wish you had or how much time you wish he’d spend at home or whatever it is. What does encourage him is when you say, “I think you’re amazing. I love your big muscles. I love that you’re my husband. Thank you for working so hard for our family.” Those are the things that encourage us as individuals and as spouses and as mothers and fathers. And so, it looks to me like you got a couple issues going on, one of which is you’re not on the same page spiritually, and therefore are not on the same page as it comes to parenting your children. And I’m going to encourage you, you knew I would do this, to take it to the Lord in prayer.
You are called to submit to the leadership of your husband. And my grandparents said it right to me a long time ago when they said, “If the issue of submission ever comes up in a marriage, it’s an unhealthy marriage to begin with.” So, I’ve been married for 30 years and the issue of submission just doesn’t come up in our home because our heart is for each other. My heart is for Jay. His heart is for me. If at any point my husband differed with me, he would come to me and he would say, “I disagree with you.” And we would talk it out. He would never say, “Heidi, I’m the leader in our home and therefore go make me some dinner. I’m making a decision right now.” He would never… Well, it would just not be healthy. That’s just not the way, we don’t love each other that way.
That’s not love. Right? Love listens, love yields. And so I would be really, I would encourage you, sweet mom. I would encourage you— I hope you guys have role models in your lives of marriages that you can look to. There’s no marriage that’s perfect, but we want to start by looking at ourselves in the mirror, and I would be really praying that God softens your heart. Also, it sounds to me like you’re in a situation where you can’t complain. Right? I mean, this is like the mom who chooses to have, I don’t know what, a lot of kids like I did. That makes it really hard to say, “This mothering, it’s just so hard.” And people look at you and say, “Well, you did that to yourself.” Right? And so, maybe your husband needs to see that you love homeschooling, and even on your hard days, maybe you vent to somebody besides your husband, because it makes him feel even more insecure than he already does about the fact that you’re homeschooling your children.
So, maybe an answer to that would be instead of venting about your hard day homeschooling to your husband, you do it to a friend who understands that we all have hard days and it’s still worth it. Right? And so I would encourage you away from this place of making this about submission, and make it about prayerfully bringing this to the Lord. And then hopefully you’re not going to get to that point where you have to choose. If for any reason in our home, we call it veto authority, that God really has… I know some of you women don’t like this, but your husband has been given authority in your home. And if for any, if for some reason my husband and I disagreed, ultimately, he would have the right according to scripture to make that decision in our home.
Now, not to sin. Right? Your husband can’t coerce you to sin. I’ve talked to women over the years who say, “My husband has forced me to watch pornography and I had to submit.” No, that’s garbage. That’s not… Well, it’s not the heart of the Lord. God would never ask you to do that. But this isn’t a sin issue as far as I’m concerned. And I would say… I mean, I’ve met a few people, handful of people over the years who have said to me that homeschooling is causing a huge rift in their marriage. And I always say, “Put your kids back in school.” I would rather see your kids in school than a mom and dad divorce over this. That’s for sure. And so, one of those moms wrote back to me years later and said her husband basically made her put the kids in school.
And so what she did, was she got so involved in the school, she’s basically there every single day. She was there all the time. She volunteered in the lunch room, she was a room mother. She volunteered out on the playground. She was there. She just made it her life. It’s not what she wanted, but in order to keep peace in her home, that was the decision that was made. And so she began to be intimately involved in the school. And I think that’s another way that you can look at it. And then just keep praying for your husband and love him like crazy. Love him, love him, love him. God is at work, and he’s going to work a lot better through you if you’re a vessel that is loving than one who’s combative and frustrated all the time. So, I know that your in a difficult situation, and believe me when I say you’re not alone, I talk to women all the time who are in similar situations, and I’ve also seen God do amazing things. And I don’t think he’s done yet. I think God is still going to be at work.
All right. I am out of time for today. I hope you guys have been encouraged by the podcast today. If you’re anywhere near Peoria, Illinois, I’m going to be leaving tomorrow morning for the Hearts 2 Conference with my friend Dr. Kathy Cook in Peoria and we’re really looking forward to seeing you there. I will be talking about how to pray for your children no matter the battlefield that you’re on and no matter the season of your life. We can pray for our children and we can see God answer prayers in miraculous, amazing ways. So, I hope you guys will check that out. All right?
And for those of you who are in Los Angeles next weekend, Faith That Speaks is coming. The tour is coming to God Speak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks, California. My whole team will be there. Come on out, say hello, and meet the rest of the speaking team and you guys, I’m telling you what. It’s going to be a weekend that will change your life. Thanks for listening today. We love you guys and we will see you back here at the podcast from Peoria on Friday.
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Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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