The girls had their annual home school evaluations last week. All went well. The results were what I expected. They passed and are progressing as they should. Which means, as any honest home school parent will tell you, the teacher passed too! Whew! 😉
Evaluations are funny things aren’t they? Be it a test, job performance review or any informal evaluation…their sole purpose is to measure and assign some kind of value. That fact alone has all kinds of implications on various levels. Especially given that everyone wants to measure up.
Now a single test here and there or job evaluation may not have weighty implications for you. Though for some it might. For most of us it’s the cumulative formal and informal evaluations we’ve undergone (and put ourselves through daily) that carry greater significance.
At the very core of our being is a need to know we’re valuable, significant and worthy to be loved. It’s written in our DNA. It’s there because God made us in his image and his image is the picture of perfect love. After all, God is Love!
We know things got screwed up in the Garden. And it’s more than just a black and white, good vs. evil thing. When sin became part of our spiritual DNA it sure did a number on us.
The enemy was able to get Eve to question her significance. He tempted her to believe she needed to be more than who she was, that God hadn’t made her complete and was holding out on her. She took the bait, ate the fruit and tried to become like God.
Ever since, we’ve been trying to measure up, striving to find our significance and value. Most often we try to do this a part from God. And oh the places that has taken some of us.
For some of us it’s lead to dark and scary places while others found bright and appealing places that proved to be full of the empty promises of human praise and esteem. I know the places it took me and they’re places I don’t want my girls to go.
That’s why I see this home school journey as so much more than providing an academic education for my girls. Although at times I worry if I’m doing enough, if I “measure up” as a teacher, deep in my heart I know my girls are going to learn.
I know that more important than passing these annual evaluations, than excelling at math, reading and writing, is instilling in them an understanding of God’s immense love for them and an understanding of who they are in Christ.
I know that if they trust in God’s love they will never have a reason to look for love where true love can’t be found. If they know their dignity and worth as a child of God, which was made possible through Jesus’ sacrifice, then they won’t need to chase after human praise and approval which seems to always lead to sin and greater selfishness.
That’s why I daily remind them they’re precious daughters of God; His Spirit lives in them and they are His. Sometimes I whisper it in Ella’s ear when she’s sitting on my lap in the morning. Or, I remind Claire when she’s sitting close to me in the pew at church.
I try to tell them often and in simple ways that their worth and value is not based on whether they’re smart, cute, talented, accepted by others etc…
I want them to learn that our Father’s love can not be earned; their adoption into His family at their baptism was a free gift of grace given when they were helpless babies, unable to even approach Him on their own. Now, there’s a picture of unmerited favor and love!
There’ll be countless evaluations to come in Claire and Ella’s lives. Just like you and me they’ll find they’re being evaluated by others and they’ll constantly be tempted to evaluate themselves. At times they may feel humiliated and even defeated by these evaluations. And in some evaluations they may find confidence and take great pride.
But, my prayer is that not one of these will compare to the evaluation our Father made of their worth when He asked Jesus to die for them on the cross. It’s in this evaluation alone they will find both true humility and their greatest confidence.