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February 11, 2013

A Walk Of Their Own

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


Kaitlin M. W. said...

Ah yeah, makes sense, and is pretty much what I understood from Jennifer, when I asked her similar questions (mine were slightly less silly though, haha).

I haven't really followed your blog, so I don't know if you've addressed this elsewhere, but in talking with Jennifer, reading her blog, and having read the Botkin's stuff, I never really got a clear picture of how parents would approach the "stay at home adult daughter" aspect of your worldview.

That's the one question this post doesn't really answer specifically, either. Unless, as I would assume, it's a matter of "well daughter, now you're eighteen, and we'll support you and love you if you decide to move out before marriage, but we encourage and welcome you to stay here with us until you find a husband, as you know we believe is best."

A lot of parents are all, "you're eighteen, get outta here!" Haha. So I think it would be really interesting to read post about how you approach talking about adulthood, staying at home, and submission, with your daughters, in contrast to this. Could be helpful to others of your worldview, also. Especially, because sadly, some parents shun their daughters for making a choice to leave (calling it "rebellion",) which I'm sure you wouldn't advocate, but which does go on as you know, and might concern some. Could be really uplifting to address this. :)

Leanne said...

It is SO good to see that you are blogging a bit more lately!

And I say that because I always get a ton out of your posts. I look at you as an online Titus 2 woman in my life.

This was a great post and rich, and I loved where you said that God chose each of these children to be born into this big family and on hard days, then need to remind themselves that this is exactly where He placed them and God wants them to know in their hearts that His ways are perfect. I loved this because yes, it can be intense for the kids in a large family, especially the older ones, but this is a wonderful encouragement for them!

THANK YOU for allowing God to speak wisdom into your life and sharing it with us!

The Pauls' Family said...

Kaitlin, thanks for your input and yes, I will try to write a post about this in a little more depth.

Carolyn Rissler said...

I have been following your posts for a number of years and have been blessed by reading them! We have seven small children and I'm encouraged to see and hear of large families with older children. Thanks so much for sharing. May God bless you as you follow His calling.

Anonymous said...

beautiful post! Our approach is so similar; nurture, guide, mentor... all for God's purpose and glory. Parenting is a beautiful thing! =)