"The LORD trieth the righteous" (Psalm 11:5a).

Test days brought varying responses from my homeschooled children. My oldest daughter was ready to tackle whatever was thrown at her with aggressive confidence. My oldest son faced his tests pensively and held a quiet, inner confidence as he matched his knowledge against the written questions. With the fearful apprehension of a person facing the gallows, my youngest daughter dreaded the challenge, and my youngest son just shrugged off the pressure and simply gave tests his best shot. Surprisingly, test days not only revealed what my children knew academically, but they also revealed their character.

The tests in life also have a way of showing a person's character. Christ's disciples proved that to be true when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. Peter boldly came at the temple soldiers with a sword as he cut off the ear of the high priest's servant (John 18:10). John quietly stood back and followed Christ to the high priest's court to see what would happen to his beloved Lord (John 18:15). The other frightened disciples ran away, fearing a sure death for following Christ (Mark 14:50), and Judas' greed was shown when he betrayed the Lord with a kiss (Matthew 26:49).

What do the tests that come from those who oppose homeschooling reveal about your character? Are you defensive and ready to attack? Do you quietly sit back, do your own thing, and hope others will leave your family alone? Does fear make you constantly worry about possible problems with school authorities? If God is in control of your homeschooling, He wants you to reflect His character to the world. When the infamous socialization and legality questions are thrown at you and you're tempted to speak your mind, trust God instead to give you the right answers. Only He can make you shine like Christ as you tell an unbelieving world of the joys of homeschooling. "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and 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" (1 Peter 3:15).

Lord, sometimes I get so tired of defending our homeschooling. Help me to seek Your wisdom and love in responding to those who don't understand the blessings found in homeschooling. In Jesus' name, Amen.