I have literally lost sleep thinking about the "what ifs" in my future.
What if my daughter were promiscuous?
What if my son falls into drugs or alcohol?
What if my kid falls so deeply into sin that I have to dismiss them from my life?
What if my child....is never saved?
I'm not going to lie and say that our choosing to homeschool didn't have anything to do with any of these fears. It definitely did. Call it "sheltering" if you'd like, but I was in my mid-twenties before I knew of much of the world's evils, and I'm okay with that. If I can keep my children from the sex-crazed world until they are older and able to face it with maturity and wisdom, well, then, I'm going to do that. So I opted to homeschool them because I felt like in doing so, I could dictate their lives. I must protect them, after all.
But then I had a thought: What if I'm more afraid that their sin would reflect poorly on me instead of fearing that they wouldn't glorify and know God?
Before I had kids of my own, I was one of those people who would roll their eyes at the parents of screaming kids wondering what those parents did wrong. Now, of course, I realize that sometimes what those parents did was say no to a cookie or not let that kid climb out of a moving grocery cart. Kids cry. Those parents probably didn't punch them in the face to cause that fit. When I think about it on a logical level, it makes perfect sense that my children are their own person. They have their own thoughts and ideas and emotions, and I'm not coaxing it out of them. It's natural to their natural being just as much as my thoughts don't come from my mom- they come from my own mind. But in practice, that's not always so easy to remember. It feels as though everything they are and do should be a reflection of me, both good and bad.
After all, they are my children.
But they aren't just my children. They are God's children. So I began to pray and beg God to help me understand my role. Not wanting my children to sin isn't a bad thing, but if my motivation was my own pride- the fact that I didn't want people to roll their eyes at my child's fits- then that's not okay. If it is not to control their entire lives, what exactly is my job?
God answered this question, as He generally does, by pointing me to His word. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 say this:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
So that's it. That's my job. I love God with all my heart and all my soul and all my might. And I teach that to my kids, all day every day and in everything we do. That is why, for my family (maybe not your's), homeschooling is the best option because I know my children need that far more than they need anything another education could offer.
They are going to sin and they are going to do things that go against both me and God. It's in their sinful nature. My job will be to lead by example and to simply show them in a scriptural way why sin is not ever what is best for them.
The best news in the world as a mom is this: If my children are to be saved, it's not because of the things I've said or done. It will be because of God's grace. Literally nothing I do will change that. That is such a relief...but I will continue to beg God to save their lost and broken hearts- not because I think it will look good for me as their parent but because them knowing and glorifying God will always be what is best for them.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
No one may boast. Not even their momma.