“I shall be telling this with a sigh. . .
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by. . .”
And it didn’t make the difference I had hoped for.
Over a decade ago, I made the life-changing decision to homeschool my child. Our guest room became a school room, our office turned into a library, and the big wide world was our field trip destination. I pored over homeschool catalogs, accumulating materials that honored God in all subjects. Lovely hours were spent reading rich literature, full of timeless stories of faith and courage. There was plenty of time to draw pictures, watch birds, and capture bugs.
She memorized Scripture verses in AWANA club and learned the books of the Bible, days of creation, and the Ten Commandments by heart. They were beautiful days that passed into gratifying years; and together, we reveled in the joy of learning about our Creator and his creation. Like the woman of Proverbs, I smiled at the future.
A Heart Revealed
Fast-forward to my daughter’s first year at the university. She came home one day and told me she had watched a film in biology class that showed a whale with legs. I laughed. She didn’t. Instead, she said these impossible words, “Mom, I don’t believe the Bible is true anymore. I’m not a Christian.”
As she spoke these words, there was a dresser in her old bedroom upstairs covered with trophies. Her competitive speeches on creationism, human value, and the defense of the Christian faith had won bronze, silver, and gold medals for five years. This wasn’t a grown child who lacked biblical knowledge or apologetic training. This was a young woman’s heart revealed, a heart “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV), and it was just like my own heart had been before I had truly repented and trusted in Christ.
My daughter had never been reborn. My confidence had been misplaced. Months passed before I could fully accept that one of mine was not one of his — at least not yet. Crushing self-condemnation followed. I spent over ten years investing in her soul daily, and what was there to show for those efforts? I looked around at all the homeschooling families we knew, and they appeared to be models of godly excellence, graduating faithful and fruitful young adults year after year. None of their children departed to a far country.
Despair hung heavy, as I seemed to have failed in the most monumental task of my life: the discipleship of my child.
Salvation, or Your Money Back
Christian philosopher J.P. Moreland says we should try to have as many true beliefs as we can and reject as many false beliefs as we can. In the months following our daughter’s announcement, I realized that I had held a false belief. I had believed teaching her at home would save her.