We sometimes have to chuckle at the questions that people will ask us concerning our children. Are you ever going to let them leave home? Are you going to make them all have as many children as you? Once they are married are you going to get them to all live together on your farm (I wish!). Or are you ever going to let them get married? As if we are going to dictate what they do and say for the rest of their lives!!!
We know that some people think we shelter our children too much. We also know that they think we are often a little "radical" in the way we raise our children. So we are not surprised when we get questions like this.
We would be the first to admit that we shelter our children...and we don't see as a bad thing. We would also be the first to admit that we hope that our children will take on the beliefs and standards that we live by. We feel that is what our calling as parents is all about!
Every day we deposit things into our child's lives. Some are positive and unfortunately some are negative. Every day we share our faith/beliefs with them....sometimes with words....mostly without. Every day our children's personality, character and beliefs are formed.
We have always made a point that our children would know why we have the standards that we do. We don't just have a bunch of rules that they need to abide by, rather we have standards that we believe God has called us to uphold. We teach them things like contentment, love, purity, trust, submission, leadership, servanthood, generosity. All of these things are taught knowing that it will equip them for the path that God has for them. We don't know all of the things our children are going to face in life. But we know the tools they there comes a time in their life where it all clicks. Sometimes it happens over a period of years, sometimes it is an "ah ha" moment. A time where God reveal Himself to them personally. These times are so exciting for us as parents.
I make it a point to tell my children often that God placed them in this family for a specific purpose. To equip them for the life that He has for them. He could have chosen to place them in a family with one or two siblings, but He didn't, He chose them to be born into this family. And every time their character is tested, every time things seem overwhelming or unfair, they need to remind themselves that this is exactly where God wants them to be and to know in their hearts that His ways are perfect.
Our goal as parents is so much more than making sure our children have food, clothes and education for years they live under our roof. No, our goal is to equip them to become all that God has created them to be and to give them the spiritual tools that they need to face whatever it is that God has planned for their lives. What a challenge...what a privilege!!!
“And these words which 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