I care about my image. I want people to see the best side of me and, consequently, my children. This seems vain; it’s really not though. Hear me out. It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with who I represent.
In the world of business, employers look for people with demeanor which would properly represent their companies. Big business understands that each person within a company represents the company as a whole; a poorly dressed lawyer might misrepresent the firm and a bad mannered clerk will be a turnoff for business.
While homeschooling families are not subject to these same rules and regulations by any means, I can see where the same principle might apply. In our outings, conversations, and behaviors, we need to be careful of what we represent. As Christians this is especially true as who we represent is synonymous with what we represent.
There is no dress code in our family, our children to do not have to wear a uniform. There is no ‘code of conduct’ our children are made to memorize. We do, however, have one family policy: remember who you represent! When we leave the house for any reason (and often while we are still in it) our children are gently reminded of who and what they represent to the world.
As much as we hate to have anyone judge us, the fact is people do. For a brief moment in time people have the opportunity to view our behavior and make an assessment of our life. While their evaluation might not hold value to us, it might have a bearing on their futures. Our actions and attitudes might influence their thinking and decisions.
I have met families so turned off to homeschooling they would never consider the possibility. Was this because they had done the research and found valid arguments against it? No, it was because they had seen poor homeschooling in action and they were turned off. I have experienced people’s exasperation towards Christianity for this same reason.
Are we ultimately responsible for their possible turning away, either from homeschooling or Christianity, simply because we had an off day? Of course not. The decision to homeschool or not homeschool is completely their own personal choice. A person’s belief in Christ rests solely on their own shoulders. However, if I have an opportunity to represent either, I want to do so in the best possible light. I want people to see homeschooling at its best; I want people to be encouraged by what they see and enlightened as to what this opportunity presents. More importantly, I want people to see Christ in our family. I want them to see love, grace, kindness, respect and righteousness in action.
While there will be moments when we are less than ideal, both in our learning and in our daily living, the ultimate goal is to represent our worldview in the best possible light. Before we ever reach people with our words, we reach them with our actions. What do our actions say about us?
Time to Chime In: What do you represent?
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” –
II Corinthians 5:20