You Can't Have It All . . .
The concept of advertising intrigues me. Think about it with me for a moment. People who live thousands of miles from us, who don’t know us at all, get paid a whole lot of money to get us to buy something we really don’t need. How often have you gone into someone’s home or even a place of business and there on the television set is the Home Shopping Network? It takes me back to my nostalgic high school days of Ronco and K-Tel. (I just dated myself.)
Each of us is bombarded daily with advertising. While much of it has to do with gizmos and gadgets, there is an underlying ideology that is really being sold and it is at the root of the success of “purveyorism” here in America. It’s the contemporary appeal to the old Adamic nature that suggests that we can have it all here and now...heaven on earth. It does, however, fly directly into the face of 1 John 2:15,16 which says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in Him For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
Now, we expect this kind of behavior from the world; after all, Satan’s allure is to the flesh. What’s especially problematic to me is that this is the same appeal coming from many of the pulpits in the average American church. It’s a westernized version of the gospel that says we can have the best in this life and the next. The only problem with this theology is that this world is totally antagonistic to the cause of Christ! Salt water and fresh water don’t mix; neither does oil and water. Why? They are not made to. So what does this have to do for those of us who home disciple?
Advertising works because it creates a certain level of dissatisfaction within our heart and mind. Since we “don’t have this or that, we are being slighted” or so we are indirectly told by advertisers. The next obvious step is for us to go about getting “this or that” so we will feel better about our lot in life. Of course, the joke is, before the new wears off, advertisers are already trying to cause another itch in order get us to scratch with our wallet or purse yet again.
As homeschooling parents we have to know that there are going to be many voices telling us how we should live our lives. These Secular Sirens, often wearing the garb of evangelicalism, boast of their girls‘ day out and shopping sprees while their children are at public school or their new low-rider Harley which they drive to the country club for their third round of golf this week. Homeschooling moms look at the mound of clothes to fold, think of the 280 meals and snacks they have to prepare for their 8 children this week and also have to get school lessons ready. Homeschooling dads are trying to deal responsibly with the biblical tension of being in the workforce as the financial provider but also being home in order to be the spiritual leader. Are you beginning to itch yet?
While these seducing spirits sound sweet, how many times I’ve heard these same women lament the lack of relationship between adult siblings? But what did they really expect? Their children spent more time with “friends” at school than with each other at home. Of course, they aren’t that close. Then there are those ladies who are incredibly lonesome because they listened to the societal one egg per nest philosophy and their nest has long since been empty, leaving their maternal instincts crying out for satisfaction even while their husband is more than content with a 2 liter and a remote.
One lady shared recently how hard it had been to say “No” over the years to all the voices of her extended family. While there is “peace within her own tent” these disapproving family members are dealing with adultery, divorce, rebellion and other sinful behavior. Yet, these same individuals continue to tell her how wrong she is. A fellow churchgoer shamed a homeschool dad because his son took an unauthorized soda pop out of the church refrigerator. However, the man who scolded him has a daughter who is fornicating as well as abusing drugs and alcohol. The hypocrisy and audacity would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
I want to challenge you today not to buy into the vain philosophies of this world which promise so much and deliver so little but demand such a high price tag: the next generation. Homeschooling Moms, you have to know that your preschoolers won’t brag on you that much in their early years. It will be a long time between the now and the then, but don’t lose heart or vision when all the naysayers have their all-too-brief moment in the sun. There will come a day when your children will rise up and call you blessed! You will be iconic to your daughter and granddaughters as to what a virtuous woman is suppose to be. That day will come.
For you Dads, you might not have the time necessary to bag that monster buck or experience 1600 cc’s underneath you on a carefree Saturday afternoon excursion but the diamond-studded feeling you will get when your 40 year old son calls you and tells you that you are his hero will make those passing fleshly moments seem like inferior lumps of coal. Knowing you perpetuated a godly vision to the next generation that will have eternal consequence will trivialize any salary or low net score on the course.
You must know, you can’t have it all, regardless of what the secular or church culture trumpets. This is why vision is so important. That which matters most can never be at the mercy of that which matters least. Press on!
Executive Director, ICHE