So, when we started homeschooling, I was introduced -- through homeschool literature and personal acquaintance -- to a segment of society which subscribed to a whole new interesting and radical way of life. Large families -- letting God decide the number of your offspring. Natural living in diet and healthcare. Courtship rather than dating. Family-integrated church. Ultra-traditional concepts of Biblical manhood and womanhood. Extreme modesty. Economic independence, as well as independence from government reliance. It's often referred to as a "Quiverfull" lifestyle, based on Psalm 127.
My first real exposure to this was a tape I purchased of a talk entitled "What's a Girl To Do?" discussing how to raise your daughter to be a truly Biblical woman. When I finished the tape, I thought, "Wow. If this is right, I have been really wrong for a long time." And there was enough rightness in what I heard to cause me to really closely examine what it had to say -- compare it with scripture and struggle mightily with what is truth and what is not.
I'm not going to say I've figured it all out . . . what is truth and what is not, I mean. But I've come to more of a sense of peace with myself about it all. And I hesitate a bit to discuss it here, because I have friends from extremes of both sides on these topics, so I'm likely to offend a lot of people. But it's a subject that I think could use some perspective.
Large families? If that's how God leads a person, more power to them. The problem comes, I think when people are made to feel that they are somehow less spiritual or righteous because they don't choose this path, when people start having more babies because some human told them they're supposed to. I had a friend once who, every time she got pregnant again, seemed to be working hard to be happy about it. On the other hand, one of my best friends is raising nine kids very joyfully -- but she would never imply that someone else should do this without a calling from God.
Courtship rather than dating? I actually see a lot of advantages to this when done well. When done in a too-parent-controlled fashion, it has some real problems. Mainly, I think the kid has to buy into this as much as the parent for it to work.
Family-integrated church? I've never seen this one in person -- I would love to see how it's done. Again, if it works for your family, great.
Biblical manhood and womanhood? This is one I'm all on board with. However, there are folks that take a scriptural truth and run to an extreme with it. This one takes discernment.
Natural diet and healthcare? Extreme modesty? Economic independence? By all means -- if you can manage in this messed-up society to live in this way, please do. Again, the problem comes when you start making others feel guilty . . . like they are not good Christians . . . becoming their personal Jiminy Cricket-style Holy Spirit trying to convict them of their sin if they don't follow the same lifestyle you do.
If it is a godly approach to life, if it is a better way of life, if it is a way of life that someone else should be adopting . . . well, that should become clear to that someone else just by observing it in you. Let the Holy Spirit do the convicting. You just live and love and look to your own obedience.