I have had that phrase in my head now for several months. It is a preface to that most famous passage of scripture in 1 Corinthians 13 that talks about love conquering all.
I feel like God has placed this in my heart for a reason – as a sort of “guiding principle” for my current pursuits. We’re unofficially calling our home school “The Clark Academy Of Excellence” because we’re striving to do things in a “more excellent way.”
What do I mean by this? We are pursuing more excellent way to live. A more excellent way to love. A more excellent way to give. A more excellent way to Glorify God. A more excellent way to parent our children. A more excellent way to communicate God’s love for a lost world.
The more excellent way has been clearly delineated for me in scripture and yet I have walked the path of he world. I have not looked at things through the glasses of Biblical truth – I have been trying to do things the world’s way – the politically correct way – the “normal” way.
However! I’m called to not be “normal” but to be peculiar! (I am sure there are some who would say I do an OK job of that last one – ha!)
Some areas where I think this is especially applicable in this season of our lives:
Homeschooling - I believe that our decision to educate our children at home and apart from forced government schooling is a more excellent way to educate them. They will be with the people to whom God has entrusted them, they will be taught things from a perspective that glorifies God and they will be surrounded with a Biblical World View. Aside from that, they will be in an environment where they will get individualized attention and their strengths will be taken into account as we learn together daily. Individual learning styles can be taken into account and built upon. School will be what we do – not a place that we go. To me, that is a more excellent way.
Discipline – Man. This is a tough one around here. We have the poster child for “strong willed children” living under out roof and she tends to bring out the absolute worst in me. How do I discipline her in an effective way that does not crush her spirit, does not leave both of us angry, and helps guide her into Paths of Righteousness?
THIS RESOURCE has been a tremendous help to me (when I am disciplined enough myself to use it) and God is revealing to me more and more each day that I NEED DISCIPLINE desperately – more so than my daughter. We need excellence in this area!
The Tree Of The Knowledge of Good and Evil – I think of this one so often. Remember in the Garden of Eden when God offered Adam and Eve EVERYTHING he had made EXCEPT for that ONE TREE? What a lesson for us. It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It held in it KNOWLEDGE – some of it good, some of it evil. It was better to have NEITHER than to “take the good with the bad.” They had everything they needed for life and Godliness. They had God’s companionship, conversation with their creator, all of their needs were met. Why was that not enough? So a more excellent way to exist for us is turning out to be this: we have limited our knowledge of good and evil. We have unplugged the TV, we are trying to renew our minds with God’s word and with other books that are edifying. We may miss the latest news right off the presses but if it’s important, we find out about it. But we’re also missing the endless stream of nothingness that gets pumped into so many homes for hours upon end each day. We’re after the fruit of the spirit, the fruit on the tree of life. We feel that limiting our exposure to “the world” in some aspects is a more excellent way to pursue those things.
How and where we live – We’ve written quite a bit about that – you can read all about it HERE but the gist of it is, we want simplicity, togetherness, and a life that allows us to glorify God and do that together.
In short – we want a life of excellence – not excellence in the world’s terms, but in God’s terms.