Member Spotlight: Steve and Teri Maxwell of Titus2.com
Kathryn Nielson · Dec 18, 2018
When God led Samaritan members Steve and Teri Maxwell to homeschool their kids 30 years ago, they had no idea that adventure would turn into Titus2.com, a thriving ministry to families that reaches thousands through their website, speaking engagements, and multiple books.
Steve and Teri are passionate about helping families reach “their goals of peace and productivity in their homes.” Titus2.com exists for that purpose.
Prolific writers, they publish books based on their family’s experiences, first facing problems and then solving them. Their books cover everything from quiet time with God to parenting help, helping kids excel in school and at chores to teaching kids to buy a house debt-free, and much more.
Perhaps the best example of teaching others after learning the lessons themselves is Teri’s book Managers of Their Homes. Managers takes struggling moms living in chaos step by step through a process of how to implement a schedule anchored in specific daily habits to bring peace and calm. She eagerly teaches moms how to cultivate a peaceful and orderly home, using lessons learned from her own struggles in the first years of her parenting journey.
Hearing the Lord's call
Steve and Teri themselves grew up in nominally Christian homes, worldly young people who “liked church,” says Teri.
They met their freshman year of college at the University of Missouri-Rolla. Teri was a psychology major, and Steve was studying electrical engineering. They married between their freshman and sophomore years. Not long after, the newlyweds found themselves in a Bible-believing church and were saved a year later.
A few years and three kids later, Teri found herself struggling with being a mom and looking forward to the day they would all be in school. Somewhere else.
“I wasn’t doing really well as a mom, and then of all things, the Lord called me to homeschool,” says Teri. “Our hearts were to follow Him.”
They obeyed, but it came with more frustrations than they could have imagined. Teri struggled with depression and anger.
“Things were really desperate,” Steve says. “A dad’s worst heartbreak is when he’s got a young wife, with three children, who is so discouraged and depressed, even though she knows the Lord and is in the Word.”
They decided children were the problem, and Steve had a vasectomy to ensure they had no more.
At the same time, they started to do some research and were learning about the negative effects of white sugar and a life devoid of exercise. They also knew that spiritual disciplines of prayer and meditating on Scripture were important. But all of these things added more to the list of what needed to be done, and it was overwhelming.
As Teri persevered and grew spiritually God started to show her step by step how a schedule could transform her day.
“God, in His mercy, gave us this,” says Steve.
In His faithfulness, God provides for what he orders and where He calls.
God also began to convict Steve of the choice he’d made with the vasectomy. One day while home sick, he opened his Bible and began reading what God said about children. He remembers the Lord communicating to him, “Wait a minute. You broke something I had fixed.”
Convicted, he had a reversal, and God gave them five more children. “In His faithfulness, God provides for what he orders and where He calls,” he says.
Veering away from worldly culture
With eight children to raise and educate, Teri jumped in armed with a schedule that was designed to both maintain her physical and spiritual health and to accomplish the day’s necessary tasks. The more she used it the more she found that wasting time didn’t fit in. The Maxwells took an approach very different from the culture with their kids.
When the children were growing up, they would never be found in different parts of their home watching televisions, playing video games, or scrolling through their phones. In fact, Steve and Teri shunned most forms of “harmless” entertainment in favor of developing a love of learning and doing everything—from exercise to work to ministry—as a family.
“For us, it was always a family thing,” says Steve.
Aware that their methods may be unpopular with some, they make no apologies, not only because it worked for them but because the methods were born out of deep conviction that a love for God, work, and learning can be cultivated in children, and that children don’t have to be victims of the culture.
A tight-knit family with eight children who love the Lord; are employed, self-taught entrepreneurs; and are in debt to no one. All five of their boys have purchased their houses outright after working and saving to avoid debt.
It started with a mom feeling overwhelmed and in need of structure to do what God had called her to do. Out of their own needs, they wrote Managers of Their Homes, never imagining it would lead to the ministry they have now.
“In our minds when we published the first book, we didn’t know if it would collect dust in the basement or end up in the trash,” Teri says.
Their numerous books and resources cover every conceivable topic related to marriage and parenting, including time management, homeschool help, and so much more—all a direct result of what God taught them during a time of specific need.
During much of the children’s growing-up years, Steve worked in corporate America as an engineer. After being laid off from his last job because of his refusal to participate in corporate espionage, he started his own business doing print brokering. These days family life and ministry keep both him and Teri busy and employed.
Titus2.com is full of resources for families wanting help in becoming more organized, disciplined, productive, and more like Christ.