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Homeschool Flying Buttresses

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By Beverly Krueger

When you look at the various meanings of the word support, you get the general notion that those who require support are under some kind of load or strain. They’re engaged in bearing a burden that, unless they are sufficiently strong in themselves, could cause them to buckle under the pressure. In Medieval times architects strove to thrust their cathedrals straight up towards the heavens straining for ever higher heights. To be able to span the vault on a Gothic cathedral, architects had to build very stout walls with no windows to weaken the load bearing capability of these walls. Imagine such a structure as a very dark cave that extended up into impenetrable darkness. That’s not the effect the architects were looking for—Christianity as life lived in a dark cave rather than the reality that Christianity is living in the light of our glorious Lord. The flying buttress was devised from this need to bring light into the cathedral and called a flying buttress because it seems to fly up from the ground to support the wall at its height. A series of these flying buttresses lines the outside of every wall in a cathedral that requires this extra strength to hold it under the pressure of the vault above.

I see in the cathedral with its flying buttresses a picture of the homeschool family striving for great things and great heights that sometimes creates a burden too heavy for that family to bear without the assistance of others. A support group is much like flying buttresses surrounding each homeschool family in their group. Each member of the group is one of those flying buttresses. One buttress won’t do, because each of us is different with different experiences and thus different insights and means of helping. Each member of the support group is both a flying buttress and a cathedral being supported by all the other members. When and where you’ll need that support isn’t always easy to predict, but participation in a support group means that you’ll find the support when you need it.

Perhaps the most powerful support you will get from a Christian homeschool support group is their prayer. There are some things that we have no answer for, but we know One who does. In some churches, you stretch your hand out to the person you are praying for. In times of despair or anguish, picture yourself surrounded by people stretching their hands out in prayerful support—it’s an amazingly comforting image because those who follow Christ know the power inherent in the righteous man’s cry to God. Whether you find this support through a local homeschool support group or your own church, it’s something we all need. Don’t try to homeschool on your own when there are so many that are willing to walk alongside of you. The time you spend forming relationships, and yes, acting as a flying buttress in someone else’s life, will be returned to you in a greater measure of blessing than you can imagine.

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5: 14-18

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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