My Children and the World
In the current political climate of separation of church and state I am venturing into the sometimes shifting sands of home education. My children haven’t lived “in the world”, but they definitely pick up on worldly things. They see that the world isn’t a good place through conversations that we may have in front of them. They hear about other children having two moms or two dads, step parents, or deceased parents. These things were not meant to be part of life, but somehow they are part of this life. My children see rules being made and broken, and it can become quite confusing for them.
It has become important to me to open the Bible when reprimanding my children. I got this idea from my son, actually. It happens everyday, something he asks me points me to God, and I do not share it with him, hurrying to answer his endless questions in the fastest way possible.
“Why do we have red lights?”
“Because it keeps us from crashing into other people’s cars.”
“What would happen if we wrecked?”
“Someone could be hurt.”
“Oh, I see. So what you’re saying is that all the people in the city do not want us hurt.”
Kinda, I think to myself, but I say “yes.”
The Good Book
The truth is that people may obey laws so that they do not get into trouble, but the heart of the rules is to keep people from harming themselves or others. This is fundamental. I’ve added it to our curriculum for my 5 and 4 year old sons this year. They need to know where rules come from, and more particularly, where the rules in our house come from.
So after a warning, and time out, I walk toward my son with the Bible. The five minute time-out period helps me whisper a prayer for strength and patience, and to look up a text quickly. We’ve been focusing on the 10 Commandments: mainly numbers 4, 5, and 9. This shows my son where Mommy gets her rules about certain things happening or not happening on the Sabbath, why it’s important for him to honor our household rules, and why living honestly is important. They are not things my husband and I sat around discussing when we found out we’d have a baby. We didn’t sit around while brainstorming names and make a list of rules we’d raise our kids by.
Expect the Unexpected
To be honest, there are a lot of things that will happen with my children that I haven’t even thought of. This is why it’s important to stay in the Word, seek God every morning, and pray for and with our children. My kids are still in the love stages with me and with God. If I mention praying, they are excited! If I only let them pray to thank God for food, and to watch over them as they sleep, and never let them call on God’s forgiveness and praise Him for His patience and understanding, then I have failed. Some day they will long for that forgiveness and may not know how to ask for it.
It’s not a science, and I’d be breaking the ninth commandment myself if I’d say I do not mess up as a parent. But, I can say that when I decide to let my son scream in time out for five minutes, and then come to him with a scripture verse about letting go of anger and bitterness, his eyes look hopeful. When I spank him or lecture him he only looks hurt, and more angry.
I pray God continues to teach me to be a better mom, and maybe as He teaches me, I can share with the readers out there, and pray He teaches you as well.