What labels have been placed on your children because they homeschool? During our years of homeschooling, my children faced innuendos that ranged from mental retardation to religious fanatic. Today, the media still portrays homeschoolers as naive, unfashionably dressed nerds. Even though studies prove the contrary, public educators also insist that homeschoolers are deprived of proper socialization. Why does the word "homeschooling" bring out such nastiness in people?

Unfair labels are nothing new. When Christ lived on Earth, He suffered from being misunderstood by the multitudes, Jewish leaders, and even His friends and family. Unfair labels like trouble maker, demon possessed, and foolish fanatic were placed on Him as He told the world about the kingdom of God and His love. Although the label placed above Christ's head on the cross was intended to mock Him, it was the one label the world got right when it read, "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS" (Luke 23:38b).

So, how do you live in a negative, anti-homeschooling world and not become negative yourself? As Christian homeschoolers, we seem to receive a double whammy from the world — unfair labels for our faith and unfair labels for our homeschooling. As hurtful as these labels can be, Christ can help us forgive and move beyond the painful remarks when they come. Jesus' example of love on the cross showed us the way when He said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:24).

Lord, strengthen me to stand against the world's opinion of homeschoolers. Teach me to love as You loved when You died on the cross. In Jesus' name, Amen.