Saturday, March 1, 2014

Are You Ruining Your Kids?

I know I'm not the only mom to ever have a daughter in High School. I also know I'm not the only mom to feel like the decisions I make for her will either make or break her. To feel like I bear the rest of her life on my weak, bony shoulders. To feel as if her entire future rests in these two empty, shaky hands, and in these short High School years. If any of you can relate, I could use a hearty 'Amen' right now.

You see, although we are a part of a small school at our local church, we are still considered homeschoolers, which means I (not some Board of Education or Master's Degree bearing Instructors) am responsible to prepare her academically for the world. I must make the tough decisions- homeschool or public school; early college courses or keep her home as long as possible; SATS, GEDS, or an Accredited Diploma… it's a vast list with endless questions, guilt, and what-ifs.

What-if I enroll her in that college course and she fails? Then I will have been responsible for creating an adult who fears college life, has a poor self image, and therefore busses tables or sweeps floors for the rest of her life. (Yet that last part sounds like the start of a great wife and mom)

What-if I enroll her in that college course and she succeeds? She not only discovers she's a bright student but a capable adult as well. She begins putting herself out there, challenging herself, and finding talents and abilities she didn't know she had. She becomes a confident woman able to make decisions and take on difficult tasks.  

What-if I choose to homeschool all the way through and she has no friends, never dates a boy, turns out socially awkward, and is unable to participate in society on her own?

What-if I decide to put her in a local public school, where she gets a good education, is well prepped for college, but meets a boy, and ends up pregnant and married? Yikes, she could end up like me! (That last line was sarcasmJ)

Of course any of these scenarios could have any outcome. But do you see how easily one decision could shape the rest of her life? Are you with me here Mama? Are you bearing the burden of your child's whole future? Because if you are, then you need to get a grip, as I have. If you are overwhelmed with Mommy-decisions, and thinking you are solely responsible for your High Schooler's (or your toddler's) entire life, then you are mistaken and need a good dose of Biblical Truth. 

And the truth is, You-Are-Not-In-Control.

There it is. Those simple five words could change your life, Mom. Here's another profound statement- When you make a wrong choice, it won't be the end of the world. Notice I said when and not if. Because even the best of parents will make wrong turns and poor decisions. That's you, Mom. You will fail. Guaranteed.

I'm not writing to completely discourage and deflate you. I'm actually here to encourage you. To fill the burdened, failing Mom with hope and peace, so stick with me.

In 1 Samuel 8, we find the Israelites demanding a king to judge them like all the surrounding nations. Rather than submit themselves to the LORD their King, they wanted another king- a manly king. Although they rejected the Lord, He granted them their request. But not without warning: their king would take. He would take their fields, their servants, their grain, their sheep, even their sons for battle, and their daughters for pleasure. The people did not heed the warning, took kings for themselves, and reaped deathly consequences.

And here's the hope we find within the failure of God's people-

"After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’  From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus."
Acts 13:20-23

Our God- He is so much grander than our minds can fathom. So full of good gifts and perfect plans. He took even this decision, this rebellion, and orchestrated it into His most beautiful plan of redemption. The Lord Jesus would come from the lineage of King David. King David- a man after God's own heart, yes. A man chosen by God to lead the people, yes. But also king because of a terrible decision the people made. King because of rebellion and a choice that went against God's instruction.

But God used even this to bring the Redeemer into the world and save His people from their sin. Even this.

So when you read, and quote the words of Paul, do you believe it?
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Do you believe it? Do you see, Mom, that even your wrong decision will be worked into God's perfect plan of redemption? You can take that overpowering weight from your weak shoulders and breathe. No, I'm not giving you an excuse for rebellion or to take decisions lightly. I'm simply offering you the freedom to seek God for wisdom who gives generously to all, and trust Him with the outcome.

He knows the end from the beginning, and that is enough to give any weary mom the strength and courage to raise God's children. Because after all, they're really His kids, right?

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