It’s so easy as a home educator to “feel guilty.” There’s no shortage of stuff to feel guilty about concerning our kids (whether the guilt is deserved or not): too much free time, not enough social time with friends, not enough rigorous academics, too much sugar, too late getting to bed, too little spiritual discussion/application, too little fun and games, too much yelling…
The Holy Spirit reminded me of a scripture today and I wanted to share it here, just in case a reader may struggle with feelings of guilt and/or condemnation.
18 My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. 19 This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.20 It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. 21 And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God! 22 We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him. 1 John 3:18-22 The Message
It is so comforting to know that God knows our hearts (Jer 17:9, 10) and He is greater. With God’s grace we can be free of guilt, whether it is appropriate or not. Guilt keeps us focused on ourselves. Self-criticism keeps us swirling in our own thoughts and actions. Our worried hearts keep us from resting, physically and mentally.
What is the key to freedom from guilt? L-O-V-E. This passage says to practice real love and that it will “shut down debilitating self-criticism.” Mature love (God’s kind of love) is the key to many things, like:
freedom from fear–
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! 1 John 4:18 AMP
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Eph. 3:17-19 KJV
God is love (1 Jn 4:8). All you need is wrapped up in Him (Eph 1:23). He sent Jesus to us (John 3:16) and He continues to love us as He always has (Eph 2:4-8).
So we are free from guilt because of the work of Christ. If He, as the only one who has a right, does not condemn us, we should not do so ourselves (Rom 8:31-34). Rom 8:31-39 is blessed confirmation of God’s commitment to love us:
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rejoice that you are set free, even from your own worried, self-criticising heart. Nothing you have done, or have yet to do, can separate you from Him and His love, His love that covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Now you can walk free in boldness and get busy living for Christ. Praise God!