Laying Down Our Lives for Our Children

No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)

The above Scripture passage was part of the Gospel reading for yesterday. How appropriate that this was the reading on Mother’s Day. All mothers lay down their lives for their children. Those who give birth physically give up their bodies during pregnancy and suffer during labor and delivery. Those who embrace motherhood through fostering / adopting / step-parenting also lay down their lives in many ways. No matter how one becomes a mother, the road is not easy, although the blessings are many.

Motherhood is an endurance sport, a marathon of sacrifice daily lived out in the many ways we are called to lay down our lives for our children. For those of us who homeschool our children, there is an added dimension. As many mothers learned this past year during the pandemic, motherhood takes on a different look and feel when you are with your children 24/7.

While all of us who are homeschooling chose this path for one reason or another (something that cannot be said for those who were forced into overseeing remote learning during COVID), it still involves an extraordinary level of personal sacrifice. While I know that my family’s life has been better because I homeschool, there are certainly times I look with longing at the road not taken. What might I have been able to accomplish had I not been on this journey for the past 20 years? And the journey is not over yet.

I have been blessed to be able to be home with my children and to homeschool. That doesn’t mean it has been an easy path. No vocation is a bed of roses all the time. We are called to carry our crosses and to sacrifice.  Sometimes our blessings and crosses are two sides of the same coin.

But on the days when the road is hard, we can remember this passage from the Gospel of John. Jesus calls us to lay down one’s life for our friends, in this case, our children. We who homeschool do this daily.

Image by Shlomaster from Pixabay

Author: Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, editor of "Today's Catholic Homeschooling", is the mother of two biological sons and one adopted daughter. She is in her thirteenth year of homeschooling. She has a B.A. in History and Fine Art and a Master's Degree in Applied Theology. She is the author of "The Crash Course Guide to Catholic Homeschooling" and "The Power of Forgiveness". She blogs at spiritualwomanthoughts.blogspot.com