A Word of Encouragement for Homeschool Moms
by Mike Smith • October 24, 2019
It occurred to me one day that my wife, Elizabeth (married to me for 50 years as of October 19), was in fact a Proverbs 32 woman.
“Mike,” you say, “you do know there are only 31 chapters in Proverbs. Don’t you mean a Proverbs 31 woman?”
I’m not a biblical scholar, but I do know that Proverbs has only 31 chapters and that one of them highlights an exceptional wife and mother—Bible teachers typically refer to it on Mother’s Day. My Bible prefaces this section in chapter 31, beginning at verse 10, with The Virtuous Wife. And certainly, she is.
But my wife—and you, too, if you are a homeschooling mom—is a Proverbs 32 woman as well. How so? Well, in addition to rivaling the activity of Proverbs 31, homeschooling moms are doing something that 31 did not: teaching their children. As busy as 31 was, and considering that she had servants, it is plausible to conclude that someone else was teaching her kids.
We all know the effort it takes to homeschool. In addition to all those wife and mother responsibilities, you moms have now taken on the sobering and challenging responsibility of educating your children.
My wife and I were travelling to a homeschool conference and got stuck in Chicago at O’Hare Airport. While sitting in the waiting area, a young man started juggling some balls. He had three, then he went to four. We all watched in awe.
When we finally got on the plane, it turned out that this young man was sitting close to us. So we asked him how he became good enough to juggle all those balls. He informed us that he was a professional. In the course of discussion, he said that most people who work at it can learn to juggle three objects, but when you add a fourth, that’s what separates out the true jugglers.
It reminded me that this is what is happening in the homeschooling mom’s life. In addition to juggling the usual tasks of a wife and mom, she has added ball number four. But this is not just any ordinary ball; it’s like a medicine ball. Some of you are too young to know what that is. It’s the size of a basketball but much heavier, designed to build up arm strength as part of a conditioning regimen.
Homeschooling is like taking on that medicine ball in addition to all the other juggling going on. Some of you have even taken on a fifth ball—leadership in a support group, co-op, or state organization.
Congratulations—you are officially a Proverbs 32 woman! And that means your rewards are piling up in heaven.
A lot of homeschooling moms feel like they’re not good enough. I just want to remind you that you don’t have to be a “perfect” Proverbs 32 woman. The effort behind your work is what matters.
From my perspective, and that of many other dads, we are amazed at what you do. We respect and admire you greatly. I hope that when you’re feeling unappreciated, you’ll be reminded of what a feat it is to juggle four balls and a medicine ball, and that you’ll remember the incredible value of what you are doing!