Children: Are They Our Converts or Our Cash Cows?

What is the goal of parenting? Why does God bless us with children? After the honeymoon wears off and we dive into the frightening realm of becoming mothers and fathers - we each have different expectations from parenthood. For many of us, we desire to experience unconditional love. For others, we live vicariously through our children so we can experience all the things we never got to do as kids ourselves. Still others have a family because that's another hurdle to cross in order to achieve the American dream.

What does God say about raising children?

Since our 2 oldest children are in "real" school now, I am realizing how little time I have with them. I am missing all sorts of teachable moments while they are at school. Their respect has switched from me to their teacher. My biggest kids are learning all sorts of wonderful things in spelling, arthimetic and science. But, at the end of the day have I accomplished the goal that the Lord set out for me as a mother?

The Bible says in Deuteronomy 4:9, "Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." Then in 6:6-8 the Lord says, "These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead." Again in 11:18-19, "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

Then in Psalms, the Bible tells us that our children are like arrows. "Don't you see that children are God's best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep."
From this I understand that my job is to teach my children the Word of the Lord. I also read that children are a blessing to me. As they grow up they will be like arrows to the enemy (if they are trained correctly.)

So, if my job is to train up children who are knowledgable about Scripture who can stand firm in their faith - why are we spending all this time memorizing the multiplication tables?

I know math is important. I know the ultimate goal of education is to give my child a chance to succeed in college and work successfully in his career of choice. But, is that God's plan for our children? Yes, the Bible says we are to work for our food but nowhere do I read that our work/career/vocation is to be the ultimate goal of life.

That's what parenting has become. We are guides who help steer our children to the best possible income. But God tells us to teach them His word when we lie down and when we wake up. (That sounds like a 24/7 job to me.) How can we do that when we are preparing them for spelling tests, science quizzes and field trips to the symphony?

Some would say that we cannot tell our children what to believe. They say we should expose them to a wide array of experiences so they can choose for themselves what they believe. But, the Bible says in Joshua 24:15, "If you decide that it's a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you'd rather serve—and do it today. Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshiped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you're now living. As for me and my family, we'll worship God."

The children God has given us are our responsibility to train up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. The Lord our God blesses us with offspring and he commands us to teach them His law. This is not an option. So why do we turn our children over to non-Believers at age 5 for about 8 hours a day? Why have we shifted our parenting goals from that of training Christian soldiers to training miniature athletes?

Do you have parenting goals or are you moving about daily to the beat of your calendar's drum?

1 comment:

Virginia (Jenny) said...

Boy, you sure sound like me! I can't believe how much you were voicing the same concerns I've had. How encouraging to think I'm not just crazy or alone in feeling this way. Thank you for sharing. Another thing you said in your comment I couldn't believe was that you are less stressed now they are home. I notice my evenings were so much more peaceful when they weren't in school. It just seems like now everything is crazy and more stressed. Thank you for commenting on my site. :) It is just so hard sometimes when family and friends are against me and tell me I'm wrong for wanting to homeschool. My sister-in-law even went as far as to tell me I was an unfit mother because of it. She is not a believer so I try not to take her comment to heart. :( I just have to do what I feel God is showing me because in the end, that's what matters most. Living for Christ and training up your children in Christ.