Did you miss the child training boat as it embarked on it’s maiden voyage at the birth of your first little one? Maybe you didn’t understand the investment involved in raising children for the Kingdom. Perhaps you hadn’t yet heard much about the Kingdom. Or maybe you were just stuck in survival mode as several children joined your family in rapid succession.
Chin up, my friend…it isn’t too late!
My first five children are survivors of a broken home. They have emerged relatively healthy from the changing climate of a conservative-gone-half-way-liberal mother and then back again. They went from absolutely no tv, to 500 channels of satellite (though anything above G was blocked) and have now settled into life without a tv.
My boys never played a video game until my separation and then I went a little crazy and got them a Playstation. Then we added the Wii and an Xbox 360 with all the accessories. These were gifts, mind you, but nevertheless they made themselves quite comfortable in our home. After prayer, conviction, conversation and agreement they are no longer with us.
My children started out homeschool-ed, but spent a few of the following years in our beloved church school. We are back to homeschooling and we’re all loving it!
My point is, I’ve done plenty in my years of raising my children that should have “ruined” them. I’ve been all over the map emotionally as I navigated the muddy waters of a heartwrenching divorce. My kids have been there through it all and have felt the pain right along with me. Do I think they will leave my home unscathed from life events that have shaped their years? Sadly, no. They have battle wounds that will heal but leave their mark. They will likely deal with insecurities and struggle to make sense of true and lasting commitment. But my prayers will cover them along the rocky path and my love will be a buffer against an often cruel world. God’s grace is sufficient to bring them out the other side whole…and committed to lives dedicated to His service.
But my job isn’t yet done and so long as I draw breath, it never will be.
For now, I’m called to lead (alongside my husband) their little hearts away from the call of the world. I am responsible for providing a replacement for the evil with that which is good. I am to give them useful occupation and help them learn to be efficient and cheerful workers. I am honored to be the vessel through which my Jesus becomes their Jesus. The relationship is uniquely theirs, but I have a part in it.
One day, if time continues and their lives are preserved, they will leave my fold and be beyond my daily reach. But they will never go so far that a mother’s fervent prayers can’t reach them.
Take heart if you’ve slipped or fallen or strayed. It most assuredly is not too late. I see evidence every single day that He is blessing my efforts in spite of my flaws. I see young men and sweet little ladies emerging from the fire, and the dross is being burned away. They are continually more willing to put aside the things of the world that had so intrigued them and their minds are more open to His gentle voice. Bibles, which once sat dusty, are opened at times when I’ve not instructed them to be. A deeper understanding of His word is revealed in casual discussion at relaxed times throughout the days. My responsibility is huge and my burden to see them free of the past sometimes brings me to tears.
But one day those tears will be dried by His own hand. My children will surround their precious Savior with no care for what they’ve endured to get there. And He will look at me with those beautiful eyes full of tenderness and I will know for sure that I am Home!! I can’t wait to meet your family there!.