"Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee" (Proverbs 25:17).

When we first started homeschooling, receiving support and encouragement from other homeschooling families was crucial. Without it, we might have given up in our attempts to teach our children at home. However, as time went on with our small homeschooling support group, I noticed there seemed to be one or two families who always wanted someone else to do the work of homeschooling for them. They loved their children and the idea of homeschooling, but they repeatedly left their children in someone else's care or advocated having other homeschooling families educate their children in a co-op class. Although I was happy to help, I realized later that these families were simply taking advantage of others. When the problem repeatedly robbed my family of the care and homeschooling they deserved, I said "no" more often.

The apostle Paul experienced a similar problem when he exhorted the Thessalonians. "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Paul used his own disciplined life as an example of working hard to not be a burden to others. Paul furthered his exhortation to those who look for the easy way out with a definite command in verse 12: "Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread." Although Galatians 6:2 tells us to bear one another's burdens, we must realize there is also a difference between helping and enabling. Sometimes, love must be tough enough to say "no."

What kind of homeschooling friend are you? Do you take more than you give? Maybe today you should consider running to the Lord with your insecurities and needs instead of automatically going to another homeschooling family. People do love and care about your burdens, but we all have our own homeschooling cross to bear. Homeschooling is hard work and takes an enormous amount of time, energy, and prayer. The Lord wants you to depend on Him first because in Him, you will find the true strength you need.

Jesus, help me to discipline my life, so our homeschooling will be a blessing to others instead of a burden. Teach me to bring my problems to You first and spend as much time talking to You about them as I do with others. In Your name I pray, Amen.