Being in the public eye is something I never wish to encounter personally. I am happy to live my quiet unknown life as a wife and homeschooling mom! Three times this week I have noticed public criticism of Christians who I sincerely believe are trying to follow God's unique will for their lives that made me want to jump up on my soap box and shout. (yes, two involve football!)
Tim Tebow - I read his autobiography, Through My Eyes, and while I will not say it was especially well written by his co-writer, I found it compelling. Mostly I was fascinated how a homeschooled kid found success in the highly secularized world of college football. I learned that he was taught and still believes that his football talent is God's way of providing him a platform through which to share the Good News. He loves football with a passion and has been successful, because he is always seeking to glorify God.
The sports pundits will tell you that he is not a good NFL quarterback. They are only partly right, IMHO. Yes, Tebow has some room for growth in his skill and development as a professional player, but the bottom line is he is winning games. I fully believe, and I am guessing he does, too, that this is God's way of making sure he continues to have a platform to share Jesus Christ with as many people as possible. Of course, there is the continued criticism that he always mentions his faith when in public, and doing is is "getting old." To me, this is merely the persecution we can all expect when being openly religious in a God-less culture.
Urban Meyer - Sorry. I cannot help it. I absolutely love football. And, my mother was born and raised in the Buckeye State! Most media has been positive about Meyer's decision, but there have been a few hints of skepticism about his ability to coach successfully after his personal near-collapse a year ago. The most blatant criticism I read was on a friend's Facebook status, which read (and I imagine was dripping with sarcasm) "I guess Urban Meyer has had enough time with his family." Really?
Why are we second-guessing someone's personal decision about his career? His family is supportive of his decision to take the head coaching job at Ohio State. He made no secret in press conferences about their family meeting and the tough scrutiny his wife and children gave him before agreeing to the position. He even shared the details of the "contract" his daughter wrote, explaining her requirements for supporting the decision. They have prayerfully chosen to go home to Ohio as a family. Enough already.
Danielle Bean - The most egregious criticism...Elizabeth Foss beautifully articulated my soapbox points already on Mrs. Bean's new position as editor in chief of Catholic Digest. For faithful Catholics to judge her decision to take on this job while homeschooling her eight children is appalling. How dare they suggest she is neglecting her family by taking on this role? Do they know her personally to determine her capabilities?
I do not, but I can imagine that she also prayerfully made this choice with her family's support. Clearly she is an amazing woman of God, evidenced by her writing and leadership skills, but I am certain she is also dedicated to her family and the education of her children. The Bean family has discerned that she is capable of handling both the work at home and professional work. Perhaps they have help from family and friends to succeed in their homeschooling. Perhaps she has simply been gifted with an efficiency and generous heart that knows no limits. Only God knows all.
Homeschooling? - My point in sharing these three examples is that it is easy to love the life you have chosen for your family, but we should never claim to know God's will for another. Because I have embraced homeschooling, I do believe that it is the most wonderful vocation there is, and I do believe it is the best way to educate my children. But, your children are yours. You choose to educate them according to God's will for your family.
Whether you work out of the home or stay at home, a mother's heart is her own, and knowing the path that will lead your family to eternal life is between you and God. Accordingly, let us be very careful not to question the decisions of others, especially when we do not know them personally. Let us simply pray for God's will to be done and that they will accept His graces to fulfill His will, not our own.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.