Monday, June 30, 2014

Raising A Christian Child

As a Christian homeschoolering parent, I raised our children to live life as a Christian, to live with a Christian worldview, to live in the world but to not be one of the world. 
Credits: Family by Shadowsplicer Deviantart

I never considered how to raise a non-Christian. I simply wanted my child to be prepared for how to live as a Christian in a non-Christian world. I wanted them to be strong enough as an individual to be able to stand on their own two feet. I wanted their faith to be their own, not mine. Therefore, I taught my children more than anything how to think.

It has not always been easy because my children question everything. They do not just believe something because it was taught or spoken. To some degree, they mentally challenge it. And for this I am glad. 

Peer Pressure - Outside Influence

I think the biggest thing I was not prepared for was the strong influence of peer pressure. I felt my children being secure in knowing they were loved by two parents was enough to not desire to be love by others. Certainly, I knew if they ever genuinely knew they were loved by God it would not matter, that God's love would always trump peers. Therefore, I kept moving in the direction that all of my children would eventually be Christians and secure in God's love for them.
Today I have one adult child who has not made a full yielding commitment to the Lord and does not know how deeply God loves. This child looks for others to confirm directions, self-worth and approval. Peers are much more important than parents in the secular worldview. Parents love is expected and not cherished. There is an unquenchable drive to be approved, accepted, and liked by others. And with this comes insecurity and unwise decisions.

Lessons Learned

What I am learning I think could be helpful to any Christian parent, not just homeschoolers.

Adult Children and Their Freewill
When our children are of age to choose, if they choose to live in the world or even to try out living in the world, they will not find it easy. They will feel sorely prepared for being a worldly adult, surrounded by non-Christians, who live in a completely different worldview. They will be influenced with worldly ways and opinions. They can be swayed and convinced that much of the way we raised them was wrong, by people with a non-Christian worldview. We must accept this as a possibility.
No matter how much we prepare our children by teaching them the ways of the world in comparison to God's ways, they will not be equipped to fully function as a non-Christian for we did not teach them how to live that way.
If they choose worldly values and worldviews, they will have many hard life lessons that we can not save them from, but we must simply allow them to experience. As their parents we can love them unconditionally and as much as they allow we can still impart our wisdom, but their freewill will ultimately allow them to choose which way they will live.

As my own children are coming of age to make their own decisions, I watch and love and pray. If they choose to not live among Christians, they will struggle to find friends unless they make worldly choices. They will be made fun of, picked on, ridiculed for being obedient to God. They will not find a mate that is respectful of a godly upbringing nor one who desires a relationship based on godly principles. All of their upbringing will seem foreign, ancient, over-protective and to some extent controlling.

Our Response in the Midst of Rebellion/Waywardness

Still, we parents must know that we ourselves obeyed HIM and continue to walk steadfast. Each individual and then family must choose whom they will obey and live for, no one else can make that decision for another. And each will be judged by God for the choice that was made. Our fruit and kingdom work will testify to our choice. Either it is for God or for Satan.

Joshua 24: 14-15 (partial)

Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth... Serve the LORD! And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers serves that were ... in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

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