I just got a call from the school today stating that one of my children did not turn in an assignment for the week, and seeing that we use an online virtual school, this would make the student be absent for the week. This is a question that rang through my thoughts, “Is it my responsibility to stand over my child and make sure everything she or he needs to do gets taken care of?”
You see, I had run across a talk show one day and the subject was on unruly children. There was a panel of parents who were talking about different the behaviors of their rebellious children. The claims where something to this effect: “They stay out all hours of the night. They run up the cell phone bill. She wears seductive clothing.” My first reaction was to yell at the TV…”Who gives them the money for the clothing, cell phone, and who lets them stay out all night?”
Then my thoughts turned to a deeper root issue: who is raising the children?
These are the faces of little babies that have been forced by our home environments and society to grow up way to fast. They get everything thrown at them at the rate of an adult, and we expect them to function as an adult; Infact, we have a lot of adults who don’t want to act like adults.
Ok, before I move on, I must add I firmly believe in choosing our battles. Our children have different styles, personalities, and taste in things. But when it comes down to down right disobedience, there should be consequences. Our children shouldn’t be left to raise themselves. Children want the boundaries and rules. Infact, they need them!
So what are we as Christ following parents to do?
Teach/ Train them: “And these words I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates”. Deut. 6:6-9 (Our children need to learn to respect us, their teachers, and authority.)
We as parents should seek to be an example: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”. Matt. 5:16 (Our children are watching what we do. Let them see how Christ is transforming you into a new creation. They need to see us seeking forgiveness and extending forgiveness. They need to see us walking in God’s grace. Share your walk with them.)
Now, you might say that sounds like a lot of work. You’re right!
We can’t let the busyness of today steal us from the task at hand. I truly believe one of Satan’s biggest tools is deception. We have bought the lie that we can keep going at the same crazy pace of life and not suffer any consequences. Or, maybe we know but we don’t want to make any changes.
I am no different. I constantly have to examine where I am. The truth is, it is so easy to get caught up in the current of life. The question at hand is: am I putting my feet up and going with the current. Or, am I fighting against the current of life because I know my family is worth it?
It is not the teachers, guidance counselors, Sunday school teachers, and youth pastor’s job to raise our children. Yeah, they are some awesome resources and tools to reinforce what should already be being taught at home. But, like I said… it is not their job to be the primary authority in our children’s lives.
The end result is not to have raised perfect children. Believe me when I say, “My children aren’t perfect.”… They need training and direction along the way… And, neither am I…I continuously need guidance and direction from my Heavenly Father. The goal is the have done our job as parents, while leaving the results to our Heavenly Father. One day our children will be our next future leaders, teachers, parents and they will be raising their own families. And they will be making good or bad choices and living with the consequences of those choices. (Hopefully, all good choices, but then again, I know everything that happens in their lives is used to make them more and more into Christ-likeness.) But we as parents will be able to say we did our job to the best of our God given abilities.
That is my goal anyway.
If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5)
To be continued…………