The REVIEW - November 2013 - page 26

euteronomy 6:6-7 is probably one of the most quoted scripture
references when speaking of home education: “And these words
that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach
them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in
your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and
when you rise.”
I thought of this verse many, many times as we home educated our four
now-adult sons. I often pondered what teaching my sons as I sit, walk, lie
down, and rise would look like. Did it mean having regular family worship
times? Did it mean memorizing Scripture and plastering our walls with
In looking back I see that these are worthwhile activities and that this
kind of thinking is correct. However, I always seemed to miss the order
the Holy Spirit has orchestrated His Word. There is a reason verse five
precedes verses six and seven. Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “You shall love the
Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
Before I can expect to teach my children the words of God, I must be in a
heart relationship with God myself. As a result of this revelation, for the
past year and a half I have been asking God to help me to love Him with
all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. 
I did not know how He would answer this prayer, but because it is clearly
according to His will, I knew He would. I confess that I expected that I
would experience some sort of quickening and would find my affections
being drawn heavenward.
The opposite happened. Instead of my feelings towards God changing, I
have been increasingly aware of His affection for me. Through a series of
experiences and scriptures, over the past several months God has been
conveying to my heart how much He cares for me. Through these
providences He has been communicating to me how much he loves and
even likes me. As I pondered this fact, I realized it is consistent with how
our heavenly Father operates. We read in 1 John 4:19 that “we love
because He first loved us.”As I have been shown howmuch God loves me,
I am finding that I love God more than ever. My newfound appreciation
for my Savior is in direct proportion to the revelation of His love for me.
Once again God has taken the initiative and made me know that I am His
and He is mine.
The most powerful scripture that the Holy Spirit has quickened to me in
recent months has been John 15:9: “As the Father has loved Me, so have I
loved You. Abide in My love.”To think that Jesus loves me as much as His
Father loves Him . . . this truth is difficult to absorb, but it is the Word of
God. I see with new eyes that the best thing I can do for my family is to fall
in love with God and His Word continually. A heart relationship with my
heavenly Father is what prepares and equips me to teach my children. In
fact, as I love God and His Word, discipleship will flow from my heart to
the hearts of my family members.
Recently a friend sent me an email describing what God has been teaching
him and his wife about home-based discipleship. With his permission I
am sharing some of it with you:
“We are in a time of real soul-searching and transition of heart and mind
from external-based, legalistic forms of ‘family discipleship’to which we’d
been exposed and had thought, ‘Well, that’s how the so-called experts
seem to be doing it.’ Our new goal is heart based, humility powered ‘just
loving each other.’‘Just loving each other’ doesn’t sound nearly as noble
and high-minded as ‘family discipleship,’ but honestly, it’s what we need
to do. We are desperate to see something of Jesus in our home these days.”
Home education is not a formula but a relationship. This relationship
begins with our hearts as parents turning toward God and then toward
home. May God save us from the external forms and appearances of
home schooling and do a deep work in our hearts that will birth
relationships with God and each other that will last for eternity.
Steve Demme and his wife Sandra have been
married for thirty-three years. They have been
blessed with four sons: Isaac, 33; Ethan, 31;
Joseph, 28; and Johnny, 25. With God’s help, they
have all been home educated.
Steve is the author and founder of Math-U-
See. He has served in full- or part-time pastoral
ministry for many years, after graduating from
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and has
served on the boards of Joni and Friends, Christian Freedom International,
and Lifework Forum.
by Steve Demme
November 2013
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