"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight."
We are getting dangerously close to finishing our very first year of homeschooling, and as I think back over the months of work (i.e. blood, sweat, and many, many tears), I can clearly see that we were all students. I was the one writing lesson plans and feverishly scanning curriculum to make sure I was teaching everything necessary, while my daughters were the (sometimes) glad recipients of a loving home education, where they could learn at their own pace, cuddle on the couch during reading time, and grow to love Jesus and study from His Word. But we were all learning. There were moments when I was sure I learned more than they did...and not just because they would much rather reenact the latest Barbie movie than ponder silly things such as addition and subtraction. The Lord taught me so much about relationships and kindness and perseverance, and He exposed those awful places in my heart that like to emerge as soon as I get tired or anxious or stressed...which happened more times than I would like to admit.
Memorization and repetition were two frequently used methods in our homeschooling experience this year. Our math curriculum, in particular, had an entire section of each lesson in which my daughter was expected to recite the same information every single day. I was relieved that (for the most part) she did not seem to get annoyed at this exercise, although I do recall a few days where she seemed less than thrilled to once again rehearse these facts. But as we race towards the first grade finish line, it is clear that she knows the material like she knows the Frozen soundtrack - backwards and forwards. Her proficiency has been achieved as a direct result of revisiting and meditating on these areas on a daily basis.
As I experienced this process with my daughter, I thought about the life lessons that I have had to repeat in a seemingly endless cycle. There have been many times when I've gazed heavenward and wondered, "Why must I go through this again, Father? Haven't we already covered this topic?" Pop quizzes on trusting the Lord in the midst of fear or showing love to someone unloving. Midterms on finding joy in spite of physical pain and showing gentleness to a wayward child. Final exams centered on peace and patience, faithfulness and forgiveness. These tests, when taken in my own strength, can leave me feeling weak and unworthy, grasping for mercy and grace. But when I surrender my will to the desires and instruction of the patient Professor, the constant Counselor, I learn so much more than I could ever express here. And it's the daily repeated lessons that drill His enduring truths into my very hard head...and heart.
Do you feel like you are walking through the same spiritual lessons over and over? It may be that the Lord wants you to be so certain of His character and His truth that it becomes deeply rooted in your heart and you reflect Him more accurately to this lost world. Don't push Him away. Lean in and listen and let Him transform your heart and mind in a way that only He can.