When someone finds out Mark and I home educate our four kids, the first questions that pops out of a persons mouth are what about testing? How do you know if your kids are learning something? What about the act or sat? Do they have to take the MEAP? Do they get a diploma or GED? How do they apply to college? These are all legitimate questions and are important to some degree but it's not the most important on our list. I know you are probably saying to yourself, "Has she lost her mind!" The answer is , "NO, I haven't! Well, I guess it all depends on who you talk to!!!"
I just received a message from a friend on Facebook about someone we knew in high school. This man was educated ,went to a great private school in the area and had a successful job. He was married with a son but was found guilty of murdering his pregnant girlfriend. He is facing life in prison without parole. For some reason college, ACT scores and job title doesn't seem that important especially when divorce happens in 40%-50% of marriages and every 13.7 minutes someone in the United States dies by suicide and 5 in every 100,00 people are murdered. ( not exactly sure if those statistic are accurate.)
Should we as parents be so focused on college, test scores and grades? Should we be more concerned with teaching our kids by example what is means to be a husband and a wife. What it means to be dedicated to our family. What it means to sacrifice for the people you love. Maybe we should be more concerned with their character and teaching them about positive and negative consequences. Helping them realize that one of the most important decisions in their life will not be a career because those you can change. It won't be what college you went to or how smart you are because you can always learn something new at any age. It will be who you decide to spend the rest of your life with. Sure you can get a divorce but think about all the heart ache that it causes when a family decides to break apart because mom and dad just couldn't get it together. (I'm not putting down anyone who has gone through a divorce. You already know how hard it was and what it did to everyone emotionally and spiritually. I'm sure just because you went through a divorce you would not want your children to experience the samething in their marriage. You would want them to break free from the cycle. Thankfully, God forgives and can make all things new again. However, does God really wants divorce part of our lives. If you are a Christian, marriage is suppose to represent the beauty and love of Christ. When two people get it right and live a life for God it's the most amazing and incredible witness to our Lord)
What we should be grooming our kids for are successful relationships. How to be a Godly wife or husband. How to handle family conflict. How to forgive, give grace and mercy. How to respect not only their parents but siblings. How to lead their siblings and work as a team. Teaching them people skills. To learn about themselves and how to relate to others. They need to learn how to prosper where they are planted. Their family is a training ground for their future. How they treat each other is glimpse on how they will work with others, how they will treat their spouse, how dedicated they will be to their family and how successful they will be. They need to know and understand what the word of God says and why it's so important to obey God not just because mom and dad said so. It's about helping them develop a deep and loving relationship with God our Father. These kids need to be loved, nurtured and protected not controlled and dictated.
What are we doing to help our children succeed in this area? Are we praying for them personally, for Godly friends and one day a Godly Spouse? Are we seeking God for wisdom to help teach our kids or are we trying to parent on our own? Are we living by example or just talking the talk? Are we teaching our kids to look to God for advice or from friends and the media? Are we building our families on the word of God? The Word of God says, "Unless the lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guard stand watch in vain." psalm 127:1. What ever is not built on the word of God is built in vain. This does not mean our kids won't mess up. This does not mean they won't end up in a messed up relationship. They have free will, are human and make mistakes. Though, I do believe the chances will be smaller and hopefully we will have more men leading their wives and children. More men and women dedicating themselves to their family instead of their job, not men and women leaving their children abandoned while they are stuck behind bars for the rest of their lives.
"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6