How to Accomplish the Impossible
|J. Michael Smith, President of Home School Legal Defense Association
By now, many of you have probably heard about Home School Legal Defense Association’s new effort, “Parental Rights in Black and White,” championing the permanent establishment of the right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children through a proposed constitutional amendment.
While some courts have recognized parental rights as an implicit fundamental right (through the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment), others have not. With the threats against parental rights (such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) steadily growing, HSLDA believes that these rights must be explicitly recognized in the Constitution, as are free speech and freedom of religion.
We believe that raising and educating our children is a God-given right and responsibility. The proposed amendment will assert just that. If it passes, this will be the first time God’s name appears in the language of the Constitution.
Considerable opposition will develop against such an amendment, and many supporters will conclude that passage is impossible. After all, a constitutional amendment must be passed by two-thirds of both the House and the Senate, and ratified by three-fourths of the states, a process that normally takes years.
In response to the naysayers, I would like to say that God’s plan for our lives is generally bigger than anything we can accomplish ourselves. Even the most essential need in our life—salvation—is beyond our ability. It is only through God’s grace that we can enter His kingdom.
Additionally, God’s plan for daily living calls for the impossible as He commands us to love our enemies, do good to those who use us despitefully, be servants of all, humble ourselves before God and others, be perfect even as our heavenly Father is perfect, love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, and love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind.
Homeschoolers have a history of doing the impossible. Our critics first said that moms would never be able to teach their children as well as certified teachers could. This claim has been disproven, as homeschoolers on the average score consistently higher than their public school counterparts on standardized achievement tests.
Many of those opposed to home education said it would never be legalized. The pioneers of homeschooling faced imprisonment and the loss of their children for courageously teaching at home. Now, it is legal to home educate (in some form) in every state.
Home educators did not have the resources to take on the public school establishment. But those pioneers in home education asked the right question. They didn’t ask whether or not they could do it, but whether or not God could do it through them.
As we consider our battle for a parental rights amendment, let’s take a look at another “impossible” scenario: the story of David and Goliath. David enlisted the power and wisdom of God. We will have to do the same if we are going to be successful. We will need to apply the principle of partnership with God found in Psalm 127:1: “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
When we take on the impossible, we will have to do our part by working hard, but we must trust the supernatural power of God to bring about favorable results. The good news is that, by taking on a God-ordained task beyond our ability, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Thousands of homeschool moms can say “amen” to that.
I Corinthians 15:58 gives us the assurance that our God-ordained labor will not be in vain: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
The challenge is great, but with your help we can prevail and guarantee our children the freedom to raise their own children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. There is no higher calling than this!