I've been following the comments on Amy Julia Becker's latest Her.meneutics post with some interest. When the time came for my husband and I to make and act on a decision regarding the schooling of our eldest (a decision-making process that began long before said child was even conceived), I made a mental list of friends and acquaintances who were going to criticize our decision, no matter what choices we made. If we public school, these people will criticize; if we private school, those people will criticize; if we homeschool, still others will criticize. I didn't make the list in order to sway our decision one way or the other, simply to be ready for the inevitable backlash we would—did—face.

Reading the comments on Amy Julia's post, I'm saddened at some of the replies. Why is it that so many people, perhaps especially parents, feel the need to justify their own decisions by criticizing the decisions of others? At the risk of sounding like all I want is to hold hands and sing "Kumbaya," why can't we all decide to support each other, acknowledging that every family is different and that God has different plans for our lives? Imagine if we could spend half the time we currently invest in criticizing other Christian families asking, instead, how we might best support them in the choices they have made, as their brothers and sisters in Christ?

It's interesting that this conversation should take place at a time when psychologists are considering a shift to famed psychologist Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Long a fixture in the training of educators and workforce managers, Maslow's pyramid argues that humans' basic needs (food, water, air, sleep) must be met before they can begin to seek other, "higher" fulfillments. ...

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