"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23).

The words were still echoing in my mind. "If every Christian homeschools his child, what will happen to the public schools?" asked a Christian friend as we chatted over the phone. "Doesn't God tell us to be salt and light in the world?"

Although I didn't have a good answer then, I thought about my friend's exhortation and logic. Examining our reasons for homeschooling, I considered the negative effect of continually exposing my child's heart to humanistic and ungodly teaching. Most elementary-aged children lack the reasoning skills to discern truth from conflicting messages, so how would a young child be able to debate with a teacher who didn't value the truths of Christ? After all, didn't recent statistics also prove that even high school students had difficulty in maintaining their faith throughout college? Clearly, expecting my young daughter to be the salvation for the evils of the public school seemed like a gross burden to place on her shoulders. Was I being selfish in caring about my child's needs before those of society? I didn't think so.

God has given parents the priority of first teaching and training their own children. Yes, Jesus wants our children to influence the world, but they can hardly do so until they are prepared. God's Word tells us to keep the heart with all diligence and assures us that a child must be trained in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6). Therefore, before young people can influence the world for good without being influenced by evil, they must have a plumb line of truth based on God's Word. Unfortunately, homeschooling families are accused of brainwashing their children with religious nonsense and being intolerant to different ideas and beliefs.

As a homeschooling parent, have you been asked the "What about the kids left behind in public school" question? You know your child's heart. Don't let the world's salt and light argument deter you from following God's mandate for raising your child.

Father, thank You for giving me the responsibility to teach my children. Show me how and when to guide them into the world with the Gospel message of love and forgiveness. In Jesus' name, Amen.