My oldest daughter is a high-achiever who’s SUPER serious about WINNING and is fully dressed and groomed before I even get out of bed every morning. She is also homeschooled.
Ever Grace is so driven and it has been a joy teaching her to read and write and identify the different parts of the axial skeleton (I don’t actually know much about the axial skeleton). But, the coolest part of homeschooling has been the opportunity to teach her about the real-life, everyday power of the gospel.
Let me tell you about what happened the other day.
I was being a very subpar mom. The frustration of tantrums from my younger daughters and scheduling and laundry had me snappy and impatient. But, it was a Tuesday, so I knew that no matter how I felt, I still had to educate my child.
So, with a too-loud exhale, I rattled off the bolded question I was supposed to read for the day in our Gospel Project Home Edition curriculum. The question read, In the Bible, there are stories of people who God used to do great things for His glory. Can you think of any?
The examples the book gave were David, Samson, Daniel, Moses and Elijah.
Half listening, I looked away from the book and pulled a few plates out of the dishwasher.
Ever said, The woman at the well.
I didn’t say anything at first, because I was genuinely confused by her answer. I, a professional gospel-centered writer and an unprofessional gospel-centered homeschool educator, basically forgot the gospel and didn’t understand her answer.
The woman at the well?
She said, Yeah. Because Jesus forgave her and then she went and told people about what Jesus did for her.
Crazy. How breathtaking, right? And how mind-boggling, that eight-year-olds can understand the beautiful mystery of the gospel even better than the adult, “mature” Christians who teach them.
Ever Grace didn’t answer the way I would have answered. She didn’t pick the Bible characters who “accomplished great things.” She picked an unfaithful woman who was recorded in the Bible for doing nothing more than meeting Jesus and telling people she was forgiven.
That’s the whole gospel. We can’t accomplish anything on our own. We’ve got nothing to offer and everything to gain. The greatest thing we’ve ever done is needing what Christ has done for us. We are all “the woman at the well.” And we are all loved.
I’m thankful for a curriculum that’s questions don’t just point my young daughters to the true and beautiful gospel and how it is the centerpiece of every Bible story and every life moment. It also teaches me. It reminds me. It corrects me and comforts me out of my homeschool huffs.
While I was unloading the dishwasher, steeped in selfishness, God used my eight-year-old to remind me that nothing I have failed at today and nothing I might win at tomorrow has any bearing on Christ’s love for me.
At our worst and at our best, we are to-the-cross-and-back loved. We can have to-the-skies joy. And we can embrace and extend the out-of-this-world forgiveness that is ours now and ours forever.
Learn more about The Gospel Project: Home Edition here.
Scarlet Hiltibidal is a very professional wife and mother. She is the author of Afraid of All the Things and He Numbered the Pores on My Face. She also writes a regular column for ParentLife Magazine. Scarlet loves sign language with her daughters, nachos by herself, writing for her friends, and learning how to be a pretend-farmer with her husband in Middle Tennessee.