"If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you" (1 Peter 4:14a).

If you've ever been slandered by someone as a homeschooler, you know the difficulty in forgiving hurtful words spoken in ignorance. As a homeschooling parent, rising above cruel remarks was a constant battle. Dealing with misinformed statements like "Homeschoolers don't educate their children; they simply brainwash them and turn them into non-thinking Christian zombies," required the supernatural love and forgiveness of God. Unfortunately, many years went by before I finally realized the lesson God was teaching me — how to love others in the face of opposition.

While Christ lived on Earth, He was repeatedly reviled by the world. People slandered Christ's holy name and works and said He was a drunkard (Matthew 11:19), a blasphemer (Matthew 9:3), and a rebel (Luke 23:2,5). Christ warned the disciples that they also would be reviled and suffer verbal attacks for their faith in Him. In Matthew 5:11, He said, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake."

Are you hurting inside today from someone's malicious gossip? Slander never feels good, but God knows your pain. He cares about your feelings and will send the loving encouragement you need to keep homeschooling. Don't let someone's foolish talk rob you of the wonderful joy of teaching your children. "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ" (1 Peter 3:15b-16).

Father, help me to forgive others when they put down our homeschooling. Show me how to respond with a heart motivated by love and keep my conscience clear as I represent You. In the name of Jesus, Amen.