Marriage in Crisis: Homeschooling in a War Zone


As a Christian we’re suppose to have it together. Right? And especially if we’re homeschoolers. Because we’re extra Christian. Right?

We walk into church with smiley faces, holding hands, give our little cherubs kisses on their head and talk sweet and soft.

Now if anyone had seen us 30 minutes before as we were dashing through the house looking for the hairbrush (because there is only one), a missing left shoe and the aftermath of the bowl of cereal dumped on the floor that ended up being left because we were running late, they sure would have had an entirely different view of our “sweet” family.

And if they would have seen us on Thursday they would see a still grimmer picture. The one where I’m yelling at the kids to get their garbage off the floor. That their dad is a louse because he refuses to go out and get a job, wont help with their school work and some how it’s their fault for my marriage falling apart. Then when he does return home I throw a slew of demands and accusations reminding him that he is a failure as a husband. As a father. As a man in general! That he leaves me to play while I’m stuck at home taking care of EVERYTHING! Then go to MY room after spewing insult for insult, shut the door and cry at how terrible my life had become.

And beg the Lord to release me….

Or if He would just take him….

Or fantasize about him finding someone else so I could just live my life.

Don’t get me wrong. He was bad too. It takes two to build a marriage. Only one to tear it down. And we both were doing a dandy job of it.

Proverbs 14

New International Version (NIV)

14 The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

In times of turmoil our homeschooling suffers. It’s a toxic environment that impedes learning. And it really added a tremendous amount of guilt. When you homeschool with a marriage in crisis, the kids have no way of escape. At least if they are in school they can breathe for just a minute.

I knew I was failing my kids. I was failing to provide them a tender nurturing home. I was failing to build memories that were safe. I couldn’t give to them in the way they needed. And yes they bear the battle scars from it. I also hated that I was failing them with their education. Homeschooling in a supportive home is a challenge. Trying to maneuver through these rough waters is almost impossible. And it results in lingering guilt.

At some point I realize my mental health was waning. That the anxiety of my husband not working but not helping, homeschooling with littles and the pressure of my marriage falling apart was taking a toll. So I did what Jesus did.

I escaped.

The Lord provided multiple opportunities for about 6 consecutive weekends to get away from the house. I went alone and I was filled. I did a lot of crying and crying out. I was also blessed with laughter, relief, and missed my children terribly. we did very light school during the week and we started to heal. And I came back demanding to my husband that we get counseling. Which we did.

But, there are some interesting things that I have observed now that we have survived:

  • My kids are stronger. Their character is noticed by strangers. They may bear the marks what we endured, but overall they are better for it. Although I would never want them to go through it again.
  • My kids still learned stuff.
  • I realized that as long as they are learning something… What difference does it make? They can’t learn everything.
  • That it’s o.k to not learn multiplication and that you can use a calculator. (I figure she will get it eventually)
  • The kids have learned that marriages are worth fighting for. That they can be saved and they can be more enriching on the other side.
  • I’ve changed the way we do school since the fall out. Our kids are each designed for their own path. If my daughter want’s to spend every waking moment to learn about horses, then why not? She knows more about animals and the environment than I ever will. And her horizon is expanding.

So, my marriage crisis has been liberating in many ways. I wouldn’t wish for anyone to have to experience that pain. But, the Lord really does work all things together for good for those who love Him.

And I love Him an awful lot.

Nicky CraytonNicky is a topsy turvy mom of 7 that God pulled up by her bootstraps.  Her life is a living story of Grace’s redemptive power.  She’s now grabbing hold of a radical life, by pursuing full time missions in South Africa.  Enjoy the journey at the


  1. Judith Martinez says:

    Thank you for your honesty! Seeing how God brought about a victory in your family is encouraging to me.

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