What a difference a day makes. From mid 90's and high winds the past two days, to 55 degrees and overcast today, the change is significant. You can't help but notice the difference the minute you crawl out of your blankets that you certainly didn't need when you went to bed in an 81 degree house! (We knew we just had to make it to today to cool the house down -one less day using the AC!)

As I was driving home from dropping the car off for service this morning, I was thinking about the weather changes over the past few weeks. For some reason, it made me stop and think about our parenting style, our values, our decisions we have made in regards to homeschooling our children, and I realized (for the umpteenth time)how amazing God is. He doesn't fluctuate, he doesn't change, he is ever faithful, ever loving, everlasting. He is the constant when everything around us is revolving. And this, my friends, is what you can cling to as you guide and parent your children.

May seem like a stretch - how does this all fit together? Well, this week we continued in our bible study Lies Women Believe, and we focused on the chapter regarding lies women believe about children. One lie that struck me was that "Children need to get exposed to the 'real world' so that they can learn to function in it." This is a statement I hear fairly frequently due to the fact that we have chosen to homeschool our kiddos. We have a plethora of reasons why we have gone down this path, and, admittedly, limiting exposure to the world outside our walls is one of these reasons. We don't hole them up and not let them out of the door, but we feel quite strongly that we are seeking to strengthen their awareness of God's plan for their lives, building up their defenses for fighting off the Enemy, and preparing them to be a light in a dark world. But, we do get the questionable looks, the doubting thoughts, and the inevitable question of when are we going to send them to REAL school?

God has a plan for our children, and our job as parents is to seek it out and pray over how we can best guide them in their formative years. That is why it is so amazing that God is never changing. When the world spins out of control, he is IN control. When jobs are lost, mistakes are made, tragedies occur, HE is comforting. When friends go by the wayside, HE stays by my side. These are the joys of Jesus that I want to teach and instill in my kids. I don't think I want to throw my children out in the world without helping them truly know this foundation on which to stand. We, as a couple, are seeking to "raise not just "good" children, but children who enthusaistically embrace the Truth, children who love righteousness and hate evil, children who will be used by God to change this world." (Lies Women Believe, p. 173)

It is one thing to have a knowledge of good and evil - we see it in classic movies today and most children can pick it out without difficulty. But, this knowledge needs to be taken a step further to then have our children know to flee from evil - to resist, to step away, to thwart, to reject it. Not simply because it is evil or wrong, or mom and dad said they should, or they know someone would tattle on them...We need to help them see the need to reject evil based on the truth of God's Word. We want them to love the Lord their God with their entire being - and we are up against Satan here! He is fighting us tooth and nail to put doubts in our kids' minds, to tempt them, to tell them it's "okay" to put themself first. What a strong opponent we face. So, we are trying to combat him with everything we have, and our main defense is protection in Christ Jesus. Now is the time to help them cultivate that personal relationship with him, so our kids can experience firsthand the joy of knowing their Savior as friend.

Children know and see and do what they are exposed to in these formative years. The pressure from peers is immense. We are countering that by encouraging them to choose friends that will lift them up and support them, rather than cut them down. We, as parents, have to continually look to what we are exposing them to through our choices in movies, music, and television. Parenting isn't part time - it is a full time, real time, all the time role that is a GIFT from God. We cannot misuse this responsibility and must evaluate constantly what we are modeling to our children on a day to day basis. If we are not in the Word, they will not see the value. If we veg in front of the tv for hours on end, they will see the tv as an important taker of time. What do you model to your children?

So, again, are our kids sheltered? Perhaps. Do they have limits on the computer, tv time, and other outside influences? Yes, to a degree. Do we think that they are not being exposed to peer pressure, evil, and wrong doing? Absolutely not. We know they are being exposed every single day. But, we are trying to arm them, and provide the weapons for battle. Because, only by preparing them with a foundation that cannot be shaken, and helping them see how our God is ever faithful, only through this can our children resist being conformers, but, instead, become transformers through Him!

Today, help your children be "wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil" (Romans 16:19). Then, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2)

May God grant you the courage and wisdom today to shelter your children in the shadow of the Almighty.
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4 Responses
  1. Leigh Says:

    Thanks again Sarah for a very thought-provoking post. This country wouldn't send it's armed forces to battle without training and equipping them. To even suggest such a thing would be a travesty. But parents do this every day, and this battle is far more important. Please pray for Ron and me as parents that we will continue to train our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
    Keeping your family in our prayers,

  2. debra Says:

    That was a great post. Thanks! It makes one think...

  3. Joyce Says:

    Hi, Sarah,

    I agree with your thoughtful post. My husband and I also wanted to be the main formative influence on our young children to the glory of God.

    As the children matured, we would discuss real world problems, news, government, etc. with them. At the age of 15 or 16, our home schooled children started college through the Running Start program we have here. The five who have done that so far did well standing up for what they believe.

    I especially agree with the things you said about modeling godly behavior for our children.

    Well, I had better get a little work done before it's too late, speaking of doing the right thing!

  4. I so enjoy reading your words. You have such talent and inspiration.