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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Whole Duty

I'm getting back to basics with my kids, giving myself a pep rally about expecting prompt obedience. Charlotte Mason calls it the "whole duty of a child," and even "the whole duty of man."
"The Whole Duty of a Child--First and infinitely the most important, is the habit of obedience. Indeed, obedience is the whole duty of the child, and for this reason--every other duty of the child is fulfilled as a matter of obedience to his parents. Not only so: obedience is the whole duty of man; obedience to conscience, to law, to Divine direction." (Page 111, Kindle edition)

"It is in little matters that the mother is worsted. 'Bedtime, Willie!' 'Oh, mamma, just let me finish this'; and the mother yields, forgetting that the case in point is of no consequence; the thing that matters is that the child should be daily confirming a habit of obedience by the unbroken repetition of acts of obedience." (Page 113, Kindle edition)
I really like Charlotte Mason's ideas and her influence on modern home schooling culture, but sometimes I'm run down by the enormity of giving five children all that they need and striving for my ideal and feel discouraged. Why can't I be more like Charlotte?

Then, I noticed this in Home Education:
"But they should have the best of their mother, her freshest, brightest hours; while, at the same time, she is careful to choose her nurses wisely, train them carefully, and keep a vigilant eye upon all that goes on in the nursery." (Page 24, Kindle edition)

If I had a staff of household help that I could choose wisely and watch vigilantly, I might be able to present only my best, freshest, and brightest self to my children. Instead, they get all of me, the best, the worst, and the mediocre.

I'll keep aiming for my ideal, but I'm thankful for the grace of God which reminds me that really, He is the shepherd of my children and through His sovereignty He is using even my worst to mold and shape the character of my children and reveal Himself to them.


ProudMom said...

It seems I always need to remember to start re-emphasizing obeying all the way, right away.... a mother's calling. :)

Also, found a link to a blog from pinterest as I was looking for some homeschool room ideas. The blogger was sharing a big homeschool room redo reveal. There was a desk for the "teacher". She said that she (the mother) would use that desk for the first six months, and then it would belong to the governess.

Governess?!?!?! Wow. :) Now, that option had not crossed my mind... :)

Anonymous said...

Bless you! Just what this mom of 5 needed to read. Of course, as you know, we are training our own staff of household help - but we didn't get to choose them (I'd pick them over and over!)

Mrs. Edwards said...

If I could call Mary Poppins once in a while, I'm sure I would!

God understands that we can't all hire a governess or housekeeper, so if we need hired help to obey His call on us, then we are getting it wrong, don't you think? Holiness isn't only for the aristocrats.

It is so good to hear from both of you!

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