When we strive for perfection in ourselves, our husbands, our children, our homes, and our homeschooling, we are placing unreasonable demands on ourselves and our families. We are demanding more of ourselves and them than the Lord does.
I have struggled with perfectionism. My dad was a perfectionist. I am sorry that my memories of him (he has been home with the Lord for some years now) are mostly of his criticisms of me and frustrations with me. I do not remember him taking delight in being together or doing things together. He spent most of his free time in maintaining that perfect house and lawn. Perfectionism saps the joy from life that God intended, and leaves you frustrated.
We have to realize something, on our journey to rediscovering God’s ways and the biblical worldview. Perfectionism is really rooted in the fear of man, not in the fear of God. Because men look on the outside, and judge by outward appearances, then for the perfectionist the greatest fear is that “work in progress” appearance, whether it is with our home, our children’s behavior, their academic achievement, or spiritual maturity. They are children, for crying out loud.
It is really self-centeredness masked. The real crux of the perfectionism is the concern (fear) of how the imperfections in my life (my home, my husband, my children) will reflect on me. Me, me, me.
The Lord is more concerned with what is dross inside of us. He is not shocked that we are imperfect, and He gently allows real life to happen to us in order to purify us. However, purification brings the ugly dross to the surface at times, where everyone can see it (panic ensues in the hearts of all of us perfectionists out there). Dross is temporary, purity is eternal.
The Lord requires purity of us, not perfection. We are all in the furnace of life together, fellow homeschoolers; let us allow ourselves and each other some room to be “works in progress.”
The story of our family, and our trials, which the Lord graciously used to teach me these truths. ♥
to be continued …