Biblical Parenting

Ginger Hubbard is an encouragement to me and thousands of other homeschool moms as she speaks at conventions all across the country on the topic of biblical parenting. She is the author of several books including Don’t Make Me Count to Three, Wise Words for Moms, and I Can’t Believe You Just Said That!

Yvette Hampton:           To some of you, she needs no introduction, but some of you, especially some of you younger mamas, may not have heard of Ginger Hubbard. Years ago, Ginger wrote a book that was a life-changer for me, called Don’t Make Me Count To Three! I started reading that book when my oldest daughter was a baby, and it was such a powerful book and had a huge impact in my life and in my parenting. So, ever since then, I’ve been kind of stalking Ginger. And God saw fit to introduce the two of us and we became fast friends. God has just been so faithful to develop this friendship. And I have loved getting to know Ginger and her family. Ginger, introduce yourself and your family to us.

Listen to Ginger Hubbard on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.

Ginger Hubbard:           Well, my claim to fame is, I’m married to Ronnie Hubbard, who is the absolute greatest guy in the world. We’ve been married for seven years, and got married on April 23rd, which was Easter weekend. And it was just such a sweet, sweet weekend. And Ronnie came as a package deal with two stepsons, Hudson and Jackson. And so, between the two of us, we have four kids.

Yvette:                         That’s awesome. And your kids are pretty amazing. And they’re now all adults, right?

Ginger:                         They are. They are. Wesley is 25, Alex is 22 and then my stepsons, Hudson is 21, and Jackson, our youngest, is 18. He just graduated high school.

Yvette:                         So, you’ve been around, you’ve done the parenting thing, you’re one who can actually speak from experience. It’s not just, “I’m testing this out and let’s see how it works.”

Ginger:                         Yeah, but I still would say I didn’t always get it right. And looking back, I can certainly share some of the mistakes I made to help those moms out there not make some of the same ones that I did.

Yvette:                         Sure. I love that. And one of the things I love about you is that you’re so transparent and so honest just about where you’ve been and about what God has done in your life through your desire to follow him through parenting and through marriage and through family. Like I said, you wrote Don’t Make Me Count to Three. You have Wise Words for Moms, that’s a pamphlet that I had up in my kitchen for many, many years. And we’ll link back to those things in the podcast notes. But we also are so excited about your new book that you have, it just came out in April, correct?

Ginger:                         Right.

Yvette:                         And this book is calledI Can’t Believe You Just Said That, Biblical Wisdom for Taming Your Child’s Tongue. And I love this book so, so much. God has given you a gift. He has given you the gift of wisdom and the gift of being able to just be that Titus 2 woman. And this is why I stalked you so many years, is, without you even knowing me, you were one of those Titus 2 women to me, where I just felt like God had just blessed you with the wisdom of training the heart of your child, because it’s not, and we’ll talk about this, but it’s not just about obedience. It’s not just about teaching your kids to do or say the right thing. It’s really about getting to the heart of your child.

 

So, tell me a little bit about your new book, I Can’t Believe You Just Said That, what led you to write that book? And give me kind of the premise of it.

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Ginger:                         Well, as a national speaker, Yvette, I have listened to parents all over the country express their heartache over their inability to tame the tongues of their children. And they’ve read the books, they’ve tried the advice, but they just still remained frustrated because nothing seemed to work. And so what I wanted to do with this new book, I Can’t Believe You Just Said That, is I wanted to just expose some of those faulty child training methods which fail to reach the heart and equip parents with biblical principles, and then provide them with a toolbox full of illustrations and examples for implementing those principles in a very practical way.

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And, don’t get me wrong, you and I, before we started recording, we were talking about Shepherding A Child’s Heart, and there’s some really, really great parenting books out there. That was actually my personal favorite as well out of all the ones that I read, just so thankful for Tedd Tripp and the wisdom that he shares.

I’ve read lots of parenting books and plenty of books are out there that focus on what the Bible says about parenting. And that’s great, but … And they’re just full of scripture that are helpful for parenting. But what I found is that few offer the information that parents need most, which is how to actually practically apply those Scriptures to those tongue-related struggles that their children are facing in everyday life.

Yvette:                         I love that. And yes, you give such practical things for parents to do. One of the things that you talk about in Don’t Make Me Count To Three, and we have used this with our kids for their whole lives basically, is do-overs where maybe my daughter speaks to me disrespectfully, and instead of just saying, “Don’t talk to me like that,” I will say, “Honey, that is not the correct way to speak to me. How should you have spoken to me?” But before, I would even say, “How should you have spoken to me,” for the past 12 years, I’ve taught her, “When you respond to me, you need to respond this way.” And I teach her, “This is how you’re to respond.” And it’s with … I mean, it can be with anything. If your two-year-old is throwing a tantrum because their toy isn’t being put together the right way, you can take the time to say, “Okay, honey, let’s do this the right way. Let mommy show you how to put the toy together so that you don’t throw a tantrum.” And then the next time they throw a tantrum, you can say, “Okay, how did mommy teach you to do this last time? What is the correct response?”.

And teaching kids and training them to do things over the right way. Because I think, as parents, we assume that kids are going to just know the right way to do things. And I love that I learned that from you early on of don’t just assume that they know how to do it the right way, or that they know how to respond the right way the first time. You have to teach them first, and then train them by teaching them to do it over, and over, and over again until, hopefully, at some point they actually get it.

Ginger:                         Right. And that’s what I refer to as the practice principle. And imagine, Yvette, trying to teach your child how to tie his shoes without the practice principle. Just verbally walking him through that process, that’s not going to be enough. At some point, you would have to physically demonstrate how to do it, and then not only that, then require him to practice it on his own. And so, the way that I look at it is if the practice principal is vital for teaching such a morally neutral task as tying shoes, how much more important is it for training children in Christ-like character? Right?

Yvette:                         Right.

Ginger:                         That’s what we want to do. We always want to require them to practice that biblical alternative to the wrong behavior, because it is never enough to just verbally instruct our children in what not to do. We have to instruct them in what to do. We have to teach them how to replace wrong behavior with right behavior. And then, most important, we want to require them to actually go back and do it.

So, you brought up the thing about children speaking disrespectfully. That’s pretty much across the board with younger kids, and certainly as they grow a little older. And so many parents, when their children speak disrespectfully, they’ll say something like, “That was disrespectful. You shouldn’t speak to me like that. Now go to your room.” But you and I know that is ineffective child training, because that most important part is left out. We shouldn’t just rebuke and discipline the child who was speaking disrespectfully. We need to have him come back and practice the biblical alternative by communicating the right way, using the appropriate words, and the appropriate tone of voice, and for many kids, particularly mine as the grew into their teen years, the appropriate facial expressions.

Yvette:                         Oh, yes. Oh, the faces.

Ginger:                         The face, yes.

Yvette:                         The rolling of the eyes.

Ginger:                         Right. But when we train our children in what’s right and require them to practice what is right, we’re teaching them how to grow in wisdom. And we’re preparing them to govern their own actions in the future.

Yvette:                         Yeah, I love that. And as you think through Scripture, all throughout Scripture, God does that with us. He doesn’t just say to us, “Obey me,” he doesn’t just say, “Don’t sin,” he gives us very specific instructions on, “This is what I expect of you. This is how you will be wise. This is how you will have blessings in your life. And when you choose to obey me, you will have blessings.” And he doesn’t just expect us to know exactly. I mean, of course we have a God consciousness and we get that, but God is not void in his word of teaching us what he expects of us. It’s very clear in Scripture. And so I love, love that we get to do that, in turn, to our kids and show them, “This is what God expects of you.”

Ginger:                         Right. He has provided us with everything that we need for life and godliness. We just need to go to his word, and there it is. And that’s one thing that I would tell my kids is … You just said that it goes well with us when we obey God. Now, that doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be trials and tribulations. But certainly, when our children choose to obey us, ultimately, they are obeying God, because God has called children to obey their parents. And he says that when they do, that it will go well with them. It doesn’t mean that they’re not going to have trials, but it means that they are under that protective covering of being in the will of God when they obey their parents. And so it’s important that we help them understand that.

Yvette:                         Absolutely. Ephesians 6, it talks about that. And God is a faithful God. We tell our girls all the time, “Sin causes pain, but obedience brings blessings. Sin causes pain, but obedience brings blessings.”.

Ginger:                         That’s right.

Yvette:                         We desperately want our girls to grow up and having a life of blessings. But like you said, that doesn’t mean that they’re going to not have pain in their life, but it is a different kind of pain. If you have pain in your life because you’ve made poor choices and you have not sought God’s wisdom, that’s a different kind of pain than the pain that just comes because we live in a sinful fallen world.

Ginger:                         Right. So, those are the things that we want to show them, that no matter … And even when we do blow it and there are consequences for our sin, there’s blessing in being able to go to God and ask for forgiveness, and repent, and turn away from that. And God can even use those times to show us new things that he’s doing in our life, and equip us to share those things with other people.

Yvette:                         In the book, in I Can’t Believe You Just Said That, your new book, each chapter talks about a different verbal offense. Walk me through a few of those. And you also, in there you offer a simple three-step plan for dealing with each one. Tell me a little bit about those verbal offenses, and then your plan to help parents learn how to deal with that.

Ginger:                         What I did in the book is I have broken just common tongue-related struggles down into chapters that all kids are going to struggle with at some time or another. And just some of those different chapters and topics are, like whining, and lying, and tattling, defying, manipulating, interrupting, complaining, blame shifting, teasing, aggravating, bragging, arguing, yelling, gossiping, bickering. It’s everything that I could think of as far as those tongue-related offenses. And certainly, you know, kids are not going to struggle with every one of those. But at some time or another, they may struggle with several. And so, what I wanted to do is to take each one of those tongue-related offenses and then break down each chapter into a three-step plan that would help parents deal with those issues from a heart-oriented biblical standpoint. Rather than just that outward behavior, really learning how to get to the heart of the matter. And then when we do that, we’re able to address it in biblical ways.

And so, each chapter opens with a very common relatable scenario in accordance with that particular struggle. I’ve had so many parents at my conferences and through emails come up and say, “Oh, that chapter that you did on wining, that opening scenario, you were totally in my house last week.” And so it’s just very relatable scenarios.

And then the three-step plan, step one is heart-probing questions. If you think about it, in all the stories in Scripture, when someone did something wrong, Jesus, what he did not do is wave his finger in their face and say, “This is what you did wrong. And this is what you should’ve done instead.” In all those stories, Jesus often used heart-probing questions. And in order for the people to answer those questions, they had to evaluate themselves, because Jesus knew how to ask those questions in such a way that the people would have to take their focus off of the circumstances and the situations around them, and onto that sin in their own heart.

So, for each verbal offense, I offer two or three very simple questions just to help parents get going in the right direction and help them to reach past that outward behavior and really pull out what is going on in the heart. Because we know if we can get to the heart, well, then the behavior is going to take care of itself.

So, that step-one is the heart-probing questions. And then step two and step three are based on the Ephesians verse that says that we are to put off our old self and put on our new self. And so, step two is what to put off, what God’s word says about that particular behavior, and what it can lead to if it is continued. And then step three is what to put on, how to replace what is wrong with what is right.

Yvette:                         Okay. So let’s take it one step further. Could I give you one of these situations, and can you walk me through what it would look like for a child who is struggling with this specific thing? As I’m looking through the chapters, interrupting keeps coming up, because, though my girls deal with some of these other things, I have a seven-year-old who loves to talk. God has given her the gift of gab, and she loves to be the center of attention. And she is super cute, and so people always think she’s cute and funny. But she is an interrupter. And we’ve really been trying to work on this with her.

So, you and I are having a conversation and she walks up, and she says to me, “Mommy, did you see blah, blah, blah?” Tell me then, what do I do?

Ginger:                         Well, first, we ourselves want to understand what is at the heart of that. Before we get into how to instruct them, we need to understand what is at the heart of it and help them understand too what’s at the heart. So we know that that children … first, let me just say, Yvette, that that was my pet peeve. You just really grabbed something with me, because that was my … we all have our things that get under our skin, and that with me was really the one that got under my skin is that when I would be talking to another adult and one of my kids would interrupt our conversation.

But if you think about it, children have a natural bent towards selfishness and pride because, like us, they are born sinners. And so, children automatically place a higher priority on themselves than on others. And so they look at what they have to say as being more important than respecting that conversation of others. And so, what happens is they all of a sudden have this thought, and then they have this sense of urgency that they want to express it immediately, which is the most important thing to them. And that leads to impatience, which leads to interrupting.

So, from the heart, it all boils down to really selfishly placing their wants and needs above the wants and needs of others. And so, say that they come up and … you and I are talking, and your daughter comes up and she interrupts. We want to ask some heart-probing questions. It could just be like, “Sweetheart, do you think it is kind or rude for you to interrupt while I’m talking to someone else?” And, “Are you thinking about others or yourself when you interrupt?”.

And then, as far as the biblical teaching there, we might say something from First Corinthians 13:4 or Philippians 2:3. And instead of just directly quoting Scripture, we can do that, but we could also talk about it just in a comfortable and conversational manner, and say something like, “Sweetheart, the Bible explains that love is patient, love is kind, love is not rude. And God instructs us to do things, not that are selfish, but instead, that we’re supposed to consider other people and their feelings as being more important than our own.” And so that’s the direction that we want to get them going.

And then, you and I talked about that we always need to provide our children with a means of escape. And we want our children to know that we value their thoughts and their feelings, and we want to hear what they have to say. So it’s going to exasperate a child just to tell them to never interrupt, because especially when two mommies are talking, it can seem like an eternity before there’s a pause in that conversation. We want to always provide them with a means of escape. And I think about First Corinthians 10:13 that says that when we, as God’s children, that when we are tempted, God always provides us a way out. He always gives us a means of escape. And that goes back also to not just teaching our children what is wrong, but also training them in what is right. So we want to provide that means of escape.

So what I did with my children when they would interrupt is I taught them to, when they wanted to say something to me and I’m engaged in a conversation with someone else, I taught them just to place their hand on my arm, and to wait silently for me to give them permission to speak. And as soon as there was a pause in that conversation, I would give them permission to speak. That way, usually when they would put their hand on me, they knew that what that communicates is, “Mom, I need to say something, but I don’t want to be rude.” And while I would be talking, I would put my hand on top of theirs to let them know that I’m acknowledging that they have something they want to say, and that I want to hear what they have to say, but we all want to do that in a way that shows respect for everyone.

So, as soon as there would be a pause in that conversation, then I would give them permission to speak. And so that’s not, it’s not a biblical mandate- that we have our children place their hand on our arm. It’s just a tool, it’s a way to prevent exasperation. It’s a way to show respect for them the same way that we’re wanting them to show respect for us.

Yvette:                         That’s so powerful, because I know you encourage that the Bible is the best instruction manual for parenting, but it doesn’t specifically address interrupting. The Bible doesn’t say anywhere, “Thou shalt not interrupt. These are the rules for children. Thou shalt not whine.” But, like you said, I mean, there’s always a root cause for those things. Whether it’s lack of self-control, or selfishness, or pride, or greed, whatever it is, there’s always something that’s causing them to react that way.

Ginger:                         Right. And that’s our job as parents. We need to understand that all behavior is linked to a particular attitude of the heart. So, as parents that want to train our children in what is right and use biblical wisdom from God’s word, we have to learn how to reach past that outward behavior and pull out what is going on in the heart. And then, you better believe God’s word addresses it, because God is concerned with the issues of the heart.

Yvette:                         Absolutely, he is. One of the things that you write in the book that I love is, you write about, why do they act like that? Our kids do something, and oftentimes parents will say, “Why? Why do they act like that? Why did they give me that look? Why did they just roll their eyes at me?” And you say, “That’s the wrong question to ask when our children misbehave.” What do you mean by that? Why is that the wrong question to ask?

Ginger:                         Well, I first, I can relate to that question, because when my kids were little, I used to be constantly shocked by some of the things that would come out of their mouths, whether it was whining, or lying, or talking back, or whatever. I would typically, like most parents, I would look at them and ask that question, “Why do you act like that?” But after a closer look at the word of God, I realized that I was asking the wrong question. In Matthew 12:34 Jesus explained, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” In other words, yeah, in other words, there’s merit to that old saying we’ve heard a million times, “What’s down in the well comes up in the bucket.”

And so, our sin does not begin with our mouth. It begins with our hearts. The sin that shows up in our words comes from inside us. And it starts sooner than we might think. King David proclaimed, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” So when parents really grasp the origin of sin and just the overall total depravity of the human race, we no longer question why our children sin.

I slowly began to learn that I was asking the wrong question. I slowly began to learn to stop asking, “Why does my child sin?” And instead, I began to ask myself, “When my child sins, how might I point him to the fact that he is a sinner, just like me, in need of a savior? How might I help him understand and live in the transformational power of Christ?”

Yvette:                         Yeah. I have a really good friend, she’s probably my longest childhood friend. We’ve been friends since kindergarten I think, or first grade, and have remained friends all our lives. And she has two daughters who are now, the grown one’s already in college, and then two little ones. But I remember when Brooklyn was probably around three years old maybe, we had gone to her house, and she was kind of in the tantrum phase, and I was trying to work through that and trying to just rein her in and trying to train her heart.

And my friend Robin said to me, she goes, “When you are talking with her and correcting her,” she said, “You need to pray with her.” And she said, “Say this,” tell her, “Dear God, please help me to obey, because I cannot obey without you.” And we still do that with both of our girls. Oftentimes when we pray with them, we just lead them in that prayer of, “God, I can’t do this without you. I am sinful, and I am incapable of making the right choice without your power and without you.” And so-

Ginger:                         That’s great. That is such a powerful, powerful prayer. And they need to see us praying the same thing.

Yvette:                         Oh, absolutely.

Ginger:                         That God would help us, you know? That we would obey him in training them in what is right. I can’t tell you how many times that I would go through ruts where I would just not be consistent in training my children the way that I should. I would find myself just ignoring things, letting things slide, or even just administering consequences instead of really taking the time to train them up.

And in some of those times, God would even use … when I would blow it in those times. So I would go weeks without being consistent, and then God would convict me, and I would sit down with my kids, and say, “You know what? I need to ask your forgiveness, because I have not been consistent in training you to obey and training you to do what’s right. And you know, honey, I just love you too much to allow you to disobey and to live foolishly. And so will you forgive me?”

And then we would go back over the standard, go back over what’s expected. And then we would just start following through, and I would step back up. But my kids … Instead of just doing that without helping them understand that I failed too, and that I have to go and I have to confess, and I have to ask God to help me and empower me to live in a way that is pleasing to him. Even in the times that we fail, Yvette, those could be powerful teaching opportunities for us to demonstrate our personal relationship with Christ. And what repentance, and turning from sin, and starting fresh looks like in our relationships with God.

Yvette:                         Yeah, I love it. So you homeschooled your kids, right? Did you homeschool all the way, kindergarten through 12th grade?

Ginger:                         I did.

Yvette:                         One of the things that I love about your books and about just your wisdom and parenting is that, through homeschooling, we have the opportunity to practice these things and to speak truth into the hearts of our children all day long. We don’t have to undo the damage that may have been done to them in school. If they’re in school and maybe being taught things that are contrary to God’s word, instead of spending time undoing those, we get to spend our time speaking into their hearts.

What did that look like for you in your homeschool environment with your kids? And how has that turned out? I often wonder, parents write books on parenting, or marriage, or something like that, especially parenting books when their kids are young. And then their kids grow up, and oftentimes I’m like, “Okay, did it work out for you? How are things going?”

Ginger:                         Right. Well, that is the great thing about homeschooling is that we really do get to grab all of those opportunities. Because we are with them all day long, and so, as sin creeps up, we are able to address it and to deal with it in that moment instead of having to wait until they get home from school or finding out what happened at school. That’s one of the most powerful things, that we have the opportunity to train our children in the context of the moment.

And that is when they really learn how to apply God’s word to daily life, because teaching them in the context of the moment, that’s when they’re really going to learn how to apply God’s word to daily life. And so, as we can grab those opportunities, it’s kind of like on-the-job-training, you know?

You learn better. You could learn from textbooks, but you really don’t learn something well until you’re actually doing it and putting it into practice. And so it’s sort of like on-the-job training all day long. And when they put that knowledge gained into practice at that very moment, it’s really going to stick better because they’re learning how it applies in that moment to their life in that particular situation.

So that is one of the great things about homeschooling is that we’re provided with those opportunities. But at the same time, we don’t really get a break. And so, we could become weary in having to train them all day, every day. And we can quickly view it as a burden or a trial. But we’re told to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance, and perseverance must finish its work so that we may be but sure and complete, not lacking anything.

Yvette:                         Yes. I have often thought about how many opportunities I would miss out on with training my kids and just being able to spend time with them, if they were in a traditional school all day long. And like you said, it can get tiresome sometimes. And there are days when I’m like, “I need to go for a drive. I need to get out. I need to breathe. I need to just have some mommy time,” if that means just going for a walk around the park, or whatever that looks like. But, gosh, I’m so thankful for the time that I get.

And when they’re away from you, and this could be at church, or sporting events. Or whatever, when they’re away from us, we usually don’t know what’s going on. It’s not like they’re going to come home and say, “Hey mom, this is the sin I dealt with today. Can you please train my heart?” You know?

Yvette:                         We’re going to miss so many opportunities. And with being able to homeschool, I love that most of those opportunities are not missed. And we get to help them, first hand, experience truth and the love of God through our parenting.

Thank you so much, Ginger. I love you. I am so grateful for our friendship, and just for what God continues to do through you. We are excited we actually got to interview you for Schoolhouse Rocked. And so we’re super excited to have you as part of that. And I appreciate your support and encouragement with the movie and all that God is doing through the ministry of Schoolhouse Rocked, because you have been such a blessing to me. And you have very much helped shape me into the parent that I am. And I shouldn’t say just me, I do co-parent. I do have a husband, and he parents with me. But he’s always very good about, when I say, “You know, well, what about this? I read this in Ginger’s book. I read this in Scripture. And what do you think about this parenting method?”

And, like you said, ultimately, the Bible is the instruction manual for parenting. There is not a book on the planet that is more important than God’s word. But it certainly is helpful to have excellent books that God has provided us with that can help shape us and encourage us as parents. So thank you for your ministry and for all that you do.

Ginger:                         Oh, thank you Yvette. And I’ll tell you, I have such a tremendous respect for the ministry that you guys have and what you’re doing with Schoolhouse Rocked. And it’s just such a blessing and a huge privilege to get to be even just a tiny, small part of that. And I, too, am just so thankful for the friendship that God has given us. You were just one of those people that, I meet so many people, but you were just one of those people that I just immediately clicked with, and we were kindred spirits and just knew that we were destined to be friends. You’ve been such a blessing and encouragement in my life too. And I’m very thankful for that.

Yvette:                         Aw, thank you so much. So, all right, well, love you, friend. Thanks for talking with me today.

 

You can find Ginger online at www.GingerHubbard.com.

 

Read Ginger Hubbard’s Books:

I Can’t Believe You Just Said That!

Don’t Make Me Count to Three: A Mom’s Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline

Don’t Make Me Count to Three: Six-Week Study Guide

Wise Words for Moms

Ginger and Yvette also recommend Shepherding a Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp.

The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast brings you the homeschooling conversations to encourage and equip you to start strong and finish well. On this weekly show, Yvette Hampton speaks with today’s homeschooling leaders – speakers, authors, activists, curriculum publishers – and homeschooling families just like yours. These conversations will build you up and give you important resources to help you homeschool your children with success – from pre-school to graduation!

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Elizabeth Johnston, The Activist Mommy, on Making a difference through Homeschooling!

Yvette Hampton, host of The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, had the opportunity to interview Elizabeth Johnston, The Activist Mommy, for the podcast. In this episode (airing February 18th) Yvette and Elizabeth discuss the importance of impacting our culture for Christ through the advantages we have as homeschoolers. They also discuss the upcoming Day of Mourning, a pro-life rally taking place in Albany, NY on Saturday, February 23, 2019.

Elizabeth Johnston is known as The Activist Mommy. She is an activist vlogger, speaker, and author who educates and inspires the public on the burning social and moral issues of the day that are important to families. She and her husband Patrick, who is a medical doctor, author, and movie producer, have been pro-life ministry leaders for many years and home educate their 10 beautiful children. The growing threat to America’s children and the vicious attack on religious liberty is what dynamited Elizabeth out of her comfort zone to inspire a nation of belittled conservatives and Christians to “come out of their closets” and boldly take their country back. Elizabeth daily triggers the left by confronting the lies of abortion, feminism, Islam, and the homosexual agenda with wit and snark like only she can, and she regularly posts viral commentary videos which have netted over 70 million views. Elizabeth has been featured on many major media outlets, such as Fox & Friends, The New York Times, The Blaze and Christian Broadcasting Network, as she has become a thought leader on topics of importance to families. The pulse behind all her activism and cultural commentary is her love for her family and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Grab Elizabeth’s new book, Not On My Watch: How to Win the Fight for Family, Faith and Freedom, here.

–Interview Transcript–

[Yvette Hampton] – Elizabeth Johnston is The Activist Mommy. I know many of you are already familiar with her. If you’re not, you will be after this interview. I’ve actually had you on my list, and Garritt and I have talked a lot about bringing you on the podcast, and then last week, you came out with something called Day of Mourning, or last week was actually the first time I heard about it, and I said, we need to have her on now, because I want people to know about what you’re doing. Tell us a little bit about you and your family and then let’s talk about what it is that God is doing through you guys.

– Sure, we have, my husband and I, we have 10 children, 10 living children. We lost six through miscarriage, and my husband is a medical doctor. He is a family practitioner, sees all ages, and we really knew before we were married that we wanted to have a large family, and homeschool our children, so we were very blessed to already be in alignment with those things before we got married, and we have always been very active in pro-life work. My husband used to actually speak at homeschool conferences and kind of recently, in the last couple of years, pulled back from that a little bit, but he would speak a lot, actually, on the subject of vaccinations at homeschool conferences, warning about the vaccinations that are made from aborted fetal tissue.


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[Elizabeth] – And warning people that we have a moral obligation to avoid those and my husband has actually always been the speaker and I’ve been carrying the diaper bag, following him around to speaking engagements. A lot of people don’t realize that and he was the preacher and the speaker and I was busy having children. I’ve always been very adamant about, and really encouraged a lot of moms to say no, to a lot of outside things and focus on discipling and training your children. Especially during those younger years. Not getting yourself too stretched out in too many places, even when they’re ministry related, and great things, they can steal a lot of your time and a lot of the focus that needs to be on your children and your husband. And that’s what I did for 20-years. I really poured every ounce of myself into my kids and my husband and then something very organic happened to me. two years ago that I never dreamed, never planned on being a public figure and it’s just opened doors that I have been walking through, trusting God to use me along the way, and I know you’ll probably have more questions about that but that’s just kind of a background on our family, and my kids are amazing, super-supportive. We are homeschool parents, obviously, and they’re up there, hopefully doing a little bit of homeschool right now upstairs. I’m in the basement right now so that’s the great thing about this platform, is that most of what I do, I do right from my house. When I started filming videos from my van, or bus as people like to call it, my 15 passenger van, that was something that I could do from my home and everything is right here on my iPhone, and I’m able to still keep my commitment to my family, but also influence culture, so it’s really neat in the social media age that we live in.

Get Elizabeth’s new book, Not on My Watch today.
[Yvette] – Yeah, well you are certainly having a huge influence in culture. God has given you a platform that, like you said, you never planned to have. He literally just put you there, and you’ve run with it. And your family has run with it along side of you. I know that your family works with you and you guys are doing a lot of things. Let me say this real quick. One of the verses that just over and over again, and I’m certain with you, has just gone through my mind, time and time again over the past several years, but really over the past couple of weeks with this whole decision in New York, is 2 Chronicles 7:14 and it says, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” And we are in a land who is desperately in need of healing right now. We are feeling the pains of our sin and the decisions that are being made by people and so God has put you in a position where he has given you a voice to speak loud because there are those who are speaking very loudly, and we need to speak louder, and so I’d love for you to talk about some of the things that you are doing, that is really impacting culture. I know one of them is you’ve got coming up in the next couple weeks what’s called the Day of Mourning. Will you talk about that first and give us a glimpse of what that’s going to look like?

[Elizabeth] – Sure. When the gruesome New York law was passed, of what was that, it’s been a whirlwind, it’s that a week and a half ago?

Two weeks ago. My inboxes were all just absolutely slammed. Something happened when that law was passed, that just incited such righteous anger in God’s people, and just everyday American citizens, and they were begging me, when are you going to New York, and what are we going to do about this? Is there a response being planned? And you know I am one mom who has 10 kids. I’ve got a bunch of kids here in my house to homeschool, and I’ve only got one child out of the house. And I do not have a staff. I am not well-funded. I make a little bit of money doing what I’m doing. I’m sitting around waiting for one of the big pro-life organizations to mount some organized response to this, or resistance to this and I just haven’t seen anything and so, I strategized with some pro-life leaders who are friends of mine and said, let’s get our heads together and let’s seek our heavenly Father and see what we come up with and we landed on a Day of Mourning because really, our solution here ultimately is not going to be a horizontal solution. It is going to be a vertical solution, with our Heavenly Father. It is going to be repentance and mourning over our sin. It is going to be God healing our land. It is going to be God granting us repentance and nationwide revival that will cause bars to empty and strip clubs to empty and abortion clinics to empty. This is something that only our Creator God, himself can cause to happen, and it has happened multiple times in our nation. People do not know their history. They do not know their revival history, and they don’t understand that, yes, it is dark right now, but there are ways in which our nation, it was in darker times, was in times morally that were even more disturbing than now, when mock bible-burning services were taking place, mock communion services, when you literally could not find one Christian on a campus like Princeton or Harvard, back in the 1800’s, when if you were a Christian, and you wanted to meet with fellow Christians, do you know, they were in hiding in these universities. They were meeting in secret. Now, that’s worse than it is today. And God swept through our nation through men like Charles Finney, and others, and brought a new Azusa Street revival, different revivals in our nation, that completely transformed our culture in such a powerful way that you and I now are still benefiting from the light of those revivals that took place in our land. That is what we need to see and it starts with repentance and prayer, and weeping and mourning over our sin. And so we landed on a Day of Mourning. We believe God has given us this vision, and He has powerfully and tangibly confirmed it over the last week to us. I was amazed to learn just two days ago that there is an event on February the 23rd happening in Orlando, Florida where 60,000 people are going to be gathered in a convention center in Orlando, part of praying for revival and repenting over this so, I mean I didn’t even know. We had already planned the Day of Mourning and I had no idea this was taking place. Another woman got a vision from God and called for a three-day fast that just ended yesterday. Do you know what she named it? A Time for Mourning.

[Yvette] – Wow.

[Elizabeth] – And ours is a Day of Mourning. God is speaking to his people. All across the world, and all across our nation, here in America, and the theme is, you better repent. You better mourn. And so, that is our response. We are calling for a nationwide time of mourning, whether you live in New York, or not. And the way you can participate is with four things: on that day, February 23rd, we are asking that everyone wear black. Do not shop. Close down your businesses, if you have a business of any type. If you cannot close down your business, we’re asking you to pray about taking your paycheck for that day and donate it to a pro-life ministry that you trust. And lastly, repent for the sin of abortion. Gather in a church. We’re asking pastors to open up your church doors, and have your church available for prayer, or call a special service on the 23rd for prayer, which is on a Saturday, and a special meeting of prayer. We have on our website dayofmourning.org, a place where you can donate, because we have expenses that are accruing fast. We have a place where you can print out the sign to place on your door, that explains why you are closed on the 23rd. But on top of the nationwide call, we are heading straight into the devil’s den, to where this law was passed in Albany, New York and would you believe that God has given us as a venue for our event, we are literally going to be in the convention center underneath where the state house is, where the legislation was signed and celebrated, and I’ll tell you, it’s as if God is saying, Satan thought he crushed you, but he didn’t understand you are seeds. We are going to be seeds underneath the ground, that although we have been crushed, and feel defeated by this legislation, and it feels like we’re moving backward, not forward, with the pro-life agenda, we are seeds underneath the ground that are, yes, crushed, but we’re gonna grow. We’re gonna rise out of this, and I believe we are gonna see finally, an end of abortion as a result of this very devastating law that was signed in New York.

[Yvette] – Yeah, I think so, too. Garritt and I have been talking a lot about how it’s just gone too far. And I think for those who are making these decisions, and making this legislation, they’ve taken it just one step too far, to where now, like you said, it’s not just Christians and conservatives who are saying, wait, enough is enough, but there are a whole lot of people who are taking notice of this and saying whoa, wait a minute, you’re talking about full-term babies here? I mean, there’s no question whether or not that is moral or immoral, and so I think they’ve taken it too far. I mean, it was already taken too far, obviously. Roe v. Wade and the murder of any baby at any stage, but now people are starting to wake up and they’re starting to open their eyes, and they’re starting to say, whoa, wait a minute, maybe it’s not just about women’s choice and it’s not about, this is my body and I can do whatever I want with it. There’s so much more to it than that. You know, you talk about revival and we often talk about revival, and our nation needs revival and I think we’re heading in that direction. I mean, it’s one of the reasons we’re filming this documentary. It’s called Schoolhouse Rocked-The Homeschool Revolution. That’s the full title of the movie, because we feel like homeschooling is so much a part of that revival. It’s not the only part of it and it’s not the only answer. Jesus is the answer, homeschooling is not. But homeschooling is certainly part of that because homeschooling gives us the opportunity to bring revival into our own families and then send our kids out to then impact the world that God has put them in, and he’s put them here for such a time as this. They are here for a reason, on purpose because God has a plan for their lives to impact his kingdom, and I think homeschooling provides just a beautiful way for us to do that with them.

– Absolutely.

[Yvette] – Another verse that continues to come to my mind, that I’ve been reading through, I’ve been reading through Ephesians, and Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good work, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” And, it is absolutely time for us to get on our knees and to pray, and to plead with God to have mercy on our country, and on those who are leading this country, and making these horrific decisions. How can we as homeschoolers go about, and obviously, people who are not homeschooling can have an impact and make a difference, as well. But I think, with homeschooling, it gives us a different opportunity because we’re with our kids all day, and we have more time as a family to do things, so how can we do that? How can we really impact culture for God’s truth, and come alongside of you, and help you with what you’re doing?

Want to hear more about the influence of public schools? Listen to Yvette discuss the “salt and light” argument with Misty Bailey on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.
[Elizabeth] – Well, first of all let me just say that I wholeheartedly agree that the homeschool movement is, in and of itself, part of the solution, and part of what will bring revival to our nation. Homeschooling is very counterculture, and it is very necessary in this day and age when children are trying to be good little cultural Marxists in school, and their minds are perverted by graphic sexual education, and things such as that, so no question, you have to get your kids out of the public school system. I mean, you have to ask God to help you find a way to get your kids out, and to provide, and meet your needs, and make sacrifices in order to protect your children from those who do not wish their best. I’m not talking about the teachers in the classroom, necessarily. They’re wonderful Godly teachers. There is an agenda that is so much bigger than the teachers, that the teachers cannot overcome. They’re not able to overcome. And that agenda is after each and every one of our kids, and wants to steal their faith, steal the faith that you have passed to them. And I just want to give a hearty amen to that, so there’s no question in my mind, in anyone’s mind that that’s where I stand. And then, as far as getting involved in the culture, that is something that is definitely lacking amongst the homeschool movement. I think that too often we feel as homeschool parents that we’re okay, and that our kids are okay, and safe, because we are properly protecting them from the negative forces outside, and so it’s easy to just focus on ourselves, our family, our homeschool friends, and leave it at that, because we are all busy, and we feel like we maybe can’t take on more, but it is very concerning if you think about, for instance, the fact that all of the millions of people who are not choosing to homeschool, and unfortunately they’re not going to, we’re gonna try to convince as many as we can, but there are going to be millions of people who don’t choose to homeschool. And for those individuals, they are tomorrow’s doctors, and leaders. They are tomorrow’s judges, tomorrow’s educators. Just think about that for a minute. Think about how that affects all of us. So if we completely pull away into a corner, and we’re not still influencing what’s taking place, even in the school systems, we are really dooming our culture. And so that is why, for instance, I have been so active as a homeschool mom, whose never had a child set a foot on a yellow school bus, never had a child set foot inside a public school, I have aggressively fought the graphic sexual education, and the LGBT sexual education in the schools, because I realize there’s no hiding from this, filtering down, and affecting all of us, ultimately. And so that is important. I want to say for our family, personally, a major part of how we’ve raised our children is to let them crash with the culture, let them crash heads, if you will, with the culture. We have from the very beginning, our kids’ infancy, taken them for instance, out to abortion clinics where we pray right there on the front lines as women are driving in to execute their babies, and pay to execute their babies. Our kids have been right there with us, outside on the front lines of these abortion clinics, watching Mommy and Daddy save babies, watching Mommy and Daddy love women, watching Mommy and Daddy throw baby showers for these women when they choose life. Watching Mommy and Daddy rebuke sin, and rebuke the men and women who are getting paid to kill these babies in cold-blooded murder. That has forever changed our children. That will always, never leave our children, and always affect who they are as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, because they know that for Mommy and Daddy, this is not something that we do on Sunday, and then we don’t do anything else with it. This is something that we live everyday, and that is important enough for us to actually go out, and be the hands and feet of Jesus to others, and so, that is a great way that people can get involved. Get involved in your local crisis pregnancy center on this abortion issue. Take your kids out and pray in front of an abortion clinic. There is an abortion clinic 30 minutes to an hour from almost every person within the sound of my voice on this podcast right now, and you can make an effort even if it’s once a month. That is life-changing for your family.

[Yvette] – Yep, and that’s something you can do during the week, when other people are in school, learning everything contrary to what God has said is true.

[Elizabeth] – Yes.

[Yvette] – And what a beautiful opportunity to be able to show your kids, look at the impact we can make in God’s world.

[Elizabeth] – Our kids beg us.

[Yvette] – cause He’s given us the time

[Elizabeth] – They are disappointed when, just this last Saturday my husband has just been working some grueling hours, and then I’ve been really swamped with this event that we’re planning, Day of Mourning, and we did not go out when we normally go out on Saturday morning, and the kids are so disappointed. One of my teenagers headed out anyway, and she’ll grab a couple of the kids and go anyway, but it just becomes their passion. Instead of Xbox and Minecraft and the garbage that kids are addicted to now, our kids are kind of addicted to ministry. They’re kind of addicted to reaching out to others, because they know what it feels like to be used of God. Don’t you want your children to know what it feels like, to see a life saved, a life transformed. Once you feel that, and experience that, what is Minecraft?

[Yvette] – Yeah, cause they realize there is something bigger than them in this world, and there are things that are worth standing up for, and sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it’s scary, but do it scared.

[Elizabeth] – Yeah, courage requires some risks, and nothing that anybody’s done that was nation-shaking or brought about revival, was ever easy. Imagine being William Wilberforce, fighting slavery, not just for five years, not just for ten years, this man went at it for just the longest time, and had so many set-backs, and so discouraging and his own people turning against him, and he stayed the course, he was faithful, and he always came back and pushed again, and pushed again and he finally saw the end of slavery and we’ve got to catch a vision for seeing an end to this bloodshed. Our country is resting under the judgment of God right now, because we take our babies and we sacrifice them to a God called convenience. He may not be technically the god of Moab, but we are no better than the savage Mayans and Aztecs that your homeschoolers are reading about in their history. We are no different. We are just as guilty, and just as their cultures have been destroyed, God will destroy ours if we do not get serious about repenting and about being the salt and light of the world and the hands and feet of Jesus to our culture.

[Yvette] – That’s right. That’s absolutely right. I would love for you to talk really quickly about, you have a new book that’s coming out right now, as a matter of fact, I think when this airs, I think it’s going to air in February 18th, your book will have just come out, and it’s called “Not on my Watch: How to Win the Fight for Family, Faith and Freedom.” Talk real quickly about your book.

[Elizabeth] – I’m really proud of it. I really think it’s gonna inspire a whole lot of people. It’s written in story form, so you’re gonna hear a lot of background, and a lot of story, and a lot of things that I’ve done, that maybe people didn’t know we’ve done, like how we’ve shut down sex brothels, and really given Teen Vogue the black eye

[Yvette] – I love that story.

[Elizabeth] – And ways that I was involved with the Kim Davis situation, the lady that wouldn’t sign the homosexual marriage license in Kentucky. So many different stories, but we teach so many principles as we tell these stories, but I really believe it’s going to be inspirational. Mostly, just to let people see how somebody who’s just a simple homeschool mom, 70 million video views later, and just so many different things that we have done. Seriously, it’s not been because of money, and it’s not been because of anything, but just, I believe, stepping out in faith, and when you kill that lion and that bear, like David did, God will give you bigger things to slay, like Goliaths. And this is something that we can all do, and so I think that people will be encouraged that all the Little ‘Ole Mes out there, that are reading and watching, that God can use you mightily, too. People need inspiration right now. People are scared to speak up, and I think that they’ll find that inspiration in this book.

[Yvette] – Well, I appreciate that you have been obedient to the call that God has put upon you and your family, to be able to do that, because oftentimes He calls us to do something, and we’re scared, so we choose not to do it. And we serve in other ways, but we choose not to step out and do the hard thing. Because it’s hard.

[Elizabeth] – It is.

[Yvette] – And we want our life to be comfortable, and we want our kids to be comfortable and safe, and you’ve really put yourself out there. And I love that about you. I love, just your passion for life, for Jesus, and for impacting this world. So thank you so much for what you’re doing. I want you to share two things, then I actually want to read a quote. How can people find you, and then how can people support you financially in what you’re doing?

[Elizabeth] – Activistmommy.com has all of my blog articles, and my videos, and it has a place where you can donate and subscribe to get my emails. And then please though, more than anything, this is not about me. I want to take this opportunity to say please go to dayofmourning.org. We have got to pray and repent. We’ve got to end abortion, and we have expenses on this rally. We need to raise 20,000 dollars to pull off this rally, and it needs to happen fast.

[Yvette] – Okay, well so for those of you who are wondering what you can do, and how you can impact lives, that is a great way to do that, right now. We will put the links in the show notes

[Elizabeth] – Thank you.

[Yvette] – For people to be able to do that, and to support you financially. I think people so often don’t realize, even if it’s a dollar, if you have no money, if you have a dollar, or five dollars, or ten dollars, that adds up so quickly. And so often people think, well, you know, I don’t have a hundred dollars, or fifty dollars, or a thousand dollars. It doesn’t matter. You support this with whatever God has blessed you with, and puts on your heart and he will multiply it, and then pray. So we’re just calling all of you in the homeschool community to pray. Step out in faith. Step out and do what God has called you to do, whether it’s through this ministry, or fighting abortion, human trafficking, whatever it is, whatever God’s put on your heart. Take a stand and do something, and do it with your kids. It is the beauty of homeschooling. We have time, and we have the ability to do that. Really quickly, I just want to read a quote, and I actually put this up on my Facebook a couple of weeks ago, and this is by my really, really good friend, Aby Rinella. This was when the whole legislation was signed in New York a few weeks ago, and she sent me this text and she said, “Why do I homeschool? Because today my children will be at home with me, learning about the catastrophic events that happened in New York. About the evil that happens when we deviate from God’s design. And about how we have a God that mourns because he loves his people. They will be home with me, praying for the preborn babies, rather than in a public school system that tells them they get to choose for themselves what is good and evil, rather than looking to God for truth.” And that is what we get to do with homeschooling. We get to speak truth into the hearts of our children. We may not perfectly teach them math, or English. They may never know how to parse a sentence. I’m pretty certain my girls will never learn how to diagram a sentence, because I really don’t want to teach them that. I don’t know how to do it myself. And that’s okay because when they come face to face with their creator, He is not going to ask them how well they could diagram a sentence. He’s gonna say, what did you do with your time on Earth, and I want him to welcome my girls into his glorious Heaven because they took a stand, and they surrendered their whole lives, and their whole hearts to Christ, and done something to impact His world. So thank you again, Elizabeth. I am so grateful for you. Thank you for what you’re doing. We will be praying for you.

[Elizabeth] – Thank you.

[Yvette] – Keep doing what you’re doing.

[Elizabeth] – That means the world to me. We really do need a canopy of prayer around us right now.

Find out more about Day of Mourning here.

Support Day of Mourning here.

Grab Elizabeth’s new book, Not On My Watch: How to Win the Fight for Family, Faith and Freedom, here.

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The Immeasurable Benefits of Homeschooling

Psalm 103:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.

Just this week:

My kids had really runny noses. I became determined to get ALL that yucky stuff out of their systems, and I implemented nose blowing times at the top of each hour. With these determined efforts, nobody’s yucky nose turned into ear, throat or sinus infections. Victory! I counted this as a benefit of homeschooling because even with best intentions, a teacher wouldn’t have been able to give this much attention to my kiddos. Plus, I let them sleep in a bit to get over this little bug.

We met a group of homeschooling families at a park at 2:00 in the afternoon. This simple event was filled with so many blessings. First of all, we were able to go at a time when the park was deserted. Secondly, some of the kids were able to strike up a great game of basketball, which gave them fun exercise. Others brought out art books and drew whimsical pictures while lying on a quilt in the shade. Still others played a great imaginative game on the park equipment. Thirdly, we moms got to visit, laugh, and encourage one another in the middle of a week. Before we knew it, two hours had passed, and we reluctantly packed up to head home for supper preparations.

Yesterday, which was a Monday, some friends from our old home town visited. We were able to finish our schoolwork in the morning and then welcome them into our home and to a trip to our neighborhood pool. We had fun catching up, playing together, and then enjoying a fun meal that evening. My kids not only got to have a fun day on what would have ordinarily been a typical Monday, but they also got to learn about hospitality by helping to get the house ready and prepare some food. These experiences help them to taste and see the goodness of the Lord, especially his gifts of friendship and hospitality. They also teach them how to practically show God’s love by opening up our home and fostering friendships.

And then there are those tender, heartfelt benefits. The ability to say, “I love you so much, and God loves you even more than I do,” countless times during a difficult school subject is invaluable. The time that I’m afforded to sit down and really listen to my teenager tell me about her concerns in her social life is a gift that I will never be able to measure. Telling my son that I see how hard he is working and that I know he will continue to make progress is changing his life in ways that I will never know. These are truly immeasurable benefits that God has given to us.

I’m sure your week consisted of a cumulative series of events like these. I share these very ordinary snippets from my week because I am trying to see and count my blessings in the part of my life which is homeschooling. I find that looking for God’s faithfulness cultivates joy and rest in my soul. I already understand the academic and practical blessings. I know some of the statistics of ACT scores and I enjoy not packing lunches and not sitting in a pick-up line every day.

But lately I’ve been seeing some new positives that maybe I’ve overlooked in the past: the benefits of being able to rest and get back to good health more quickly, of enjoying the outdoors and sports with friends, and being able to host dear people on a Monday afternoon were just some of unassuming, everyday things that surprisingly bring so much joy to my family.   And I’m especially treasuring the seemingly small benefits of encouragement and relationship building, which deep down I know are the biggest treasures of all.

What are some of the hidden blessings in your life that come from this lifestyle of homeschooling? I encourage you today to give it a little thought, write down a few recent joys, or maybe ask your family to contemplate this question tonight around the supper table. If you’re struggling to see, ask God to show you. He’s so faithful to us!

Psalm 34:8a Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

 

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