This chapter was all about releasing our children to God – and that’s quite a chapter. When we think of releasing our children to God, we think of them all grown, out of the house and beginning their own families. Mine are still young, all 10 (almost) and under so I don’t need to release them fully just yet but releasing them in light of this chapter means knowing that God has plans for them – they may not be what I have planned – and I need to let them follow God’s plans not mine.
Some quotes that stood out to me in this chapter was:
“These kids we refer to as ours are not ours. They are His.” page 122 This one is pretty self explanatory as well as pretty profound. If they aren’t mine then I’ve got a big job ahead of me – I don’t get to drop my children off and let someone else raise them, they are the Lord’s and I’ve been given a brief moment in time to raise them to know Him and follow Him – I am the one who has to not only provide wordly knowledge (talking about math, science, etc) but I have to impart godly knowledge too. That’s a big order.
“Is happiness really the standard we want to set for our kids?” page 123 I hear so many parents today saying, “I just want my kids to be happy.” What? Don’t you want more? Happiness is the end all and be all of life, I want my children to love, honor and obey God – that will bring true joy – yes there are going to be times that that children can’t have something, there will be heartache – family shunning them because of beliefs, death, sickness – but ultimately they can still keep that joy, not because I strove to make my children happy (if we strive to keep our children happy all the time then beware of the entitlement syndrome that will indeed happen one day to them) but because I showed them that the true joy in life is when your life is given to the Lord, not from the things you receive, it’s from what you give and knowing that the Lord is the comforter that we all need.
There are others that spoke to me – but can I just say that I have to just recognize how blessed by God home schoolers are. We are blessed that we are able to cultivate our relationships with our children – they aren’t in a school building being told how parents are clueless and bombarded with anti-God sentiment for 8+ hours a day. I’ve been able to see one of my children so far baptized because of a belief in Jesus that I helped plant and she nourished and He grew that and she chose for herself that she would live for Him. We can also cultivate relationships with friends and have good, close friends that can flourish. We can even have the time to cultivate relationships with extended family, if we chose.
As I think of how I’ve slowly been releasing my children to God I think of this past summer when I allowed our oldest to attend College for Kids at the local community college. She was the only one who is homeschooled, she was poked at for wearing skirts, she also quickly became the teacher’s go-to for help because she listened, respected the teachers and she knew how to defend herself calmly in the light of negativity. She was able to expand her knowledge in art using different mediums as well as drama to develop more of her artistic side. Was it hard for me to let her go? You betcha’ but I also knew that God was watching her (if you think this gives me an excuse to abdicate my role as teacher in her life, it’s not) and giving her what she needed and of course she knew she could tell me what she wanted to.
I release my children every time they go to spend the night with Grandparents who believe differently than we do.
I release them to God every time we get in a vehicle.
Eventually I will release them permanently when they enter the world to go out and go about the Lord’s business, but until then the Lord has given me the blessing of training them up for Him.