Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
A common scripture that Christian parents of small children cling to. I write this post as I'm listening to the cries of my two year old in her bedroom. She made it until just over two years before we converted the crib to a toddler bed. But with her new realization that she can now escape her imprisonment, my security (IE climb out of the crib), we opted for a conversion that would allow us to keep her in her room where she can put herself back in bed when she finally surrenders to the nap that she so desperately needs. Is this the right thing to do? I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA. But for now, it's the best I've got. And so I cling to the thought that if I teach her to be the person that God wants her to be, then when she is old, she will have what she needs to be that person.
A wonderful assurance! If I don't think of the people I know that this scripture doesn't seem true for.. Because I know of several wonderful parents that are great people that have been devastated by watching their children walk away. So, I make up excuses so that I don't feel helpless with my own children.. Things like, "well it says OLD.. They aren't OLD yet".. And I turn it over and over in my mind with a constant fear that my children will some how grow up to walk away from their faith because of some choice that I've made. And the truth is, I have absolutely no idea how this job that I'm doing, being a mom, the most important job of my life, will come out for at least twenty years, maybe longer. So I'm left to observe the people that I know and rely on my own experiences and the one thing I can truly control, my ability to throw myself at the feet of a God that can give me the wisdom to do something I can not do on my own.
And I feel like in bits and pieces I get that direction. The other night, Adam and I were having a not so uncommon conversation about how to make life turn out the way it should for our girls. And here was my clueless response, "I don't know, but I know one thing, as big of helicopter parents that we are, we have to let them go on mission trips. Because out of all the kids that we know that have a faith that is real and is strong there is one thing that they all have in common, they were involved in mission work". I know that this realization is anemic. Obviously, this is not an A+B=C equation. Sending a child on a mission trip alone is not going to automatically equate to a life long faithfulness that can't be rocked. And obviously, there are faithful Christians that have never been out of our country. But still, at least in my experience the correlation is there. And so I being the person that I am analyze and analyze and analyze some more..
And last night, I feel like I got another small piece of this enlightening little puzzle when Adam showed this clip at church:
I'm still trying to sort my thoughts on this out.. Could it be that we have diluted the story of Jesus to much less of a story than God intended it to be? Could it be that maybe I'm telling my children but not training them? God please show me the way to not just say what they need to hear but be what they need to be.
I am now hearing only the blissful sound of my fingers clicking on the keyboard. And the picture inside the bedroom of that precious little ball of fire God has entrusted to me?
Lord if I warped her for life by giving her no other option but to turn to Mickey for comfort, please give me grace.
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Toxic Free Blog - by Brittany Glynn
Brittany is a director of the Toxic Free Foundation and created the first ever Toxic Free Certification Program. Weekly, Brittany publishes the Toxic Free Blog and provides coaching to over 10,000 families in the United States alone. She is the author of a Toxic Free educational series and co-author of several Toxic Free learning programs. Brittany is also an award winning author.