I’ve had people accuse me of trying to control the lives of my children. What do they base their judgment on? The fact that we raise our children to believe in God and that we teach them to live life as God tells us is best.
No these people usually don’t have a relationship with God although some have known of Him.
I’ve been told that my children will push away from us if I don’t let them make their own choices and think for themselves. Why do they say this? Because we lead them to believe in God, rather than letting them choose their own beliefs, whether this be in a god or not. How do I explain to them that knowing there is only one real God means it would be cruel for me to allow my children to choose a counterfeit deity?
I’m mostly criticised for how I train my children and my choice to use God’s Word as my instruction manual. They do not understand why we train them in such a non-worldly way, teaching them what is pleasing to God and what is not. They feel that we are overprotecting our children because we monitor what our children watch and read. They feel we aren’t allowing our boys to be “normal” boys because we don’t allow our little boys to play at killing people with toy guns, nor do we allow violent electronic gaming. We also discourage friendships with people that we do not wish for our children to reflect. Partly for this reason we no longer attend “inclusive” homeschooling groups on a regular basis, understanding God’s wisdom regarding being yoked to non-believers, particularly for our children.
How do I explain when they do not know the God who wrote, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it”.
In the Garden of Eden, before the Fall we knew only what was good. When we were deceived we chose to know good and evil so we could choose between the two. But this free will led to sadness as well as joy, sickness as well as health, death as well as birth.
Just as God prepared the Garden and showed us what was best, I want to raise my boys to know the best way too. Remember the saying, “Father knows best”…well He really does. There’s no need for trial and error in our children’s lives if they know God.
But as in God’s garden, there is always the chance that they’ll be deceived into making the wrong choice. Praise God that He has already sent His Son, Jesus to saved us from the consequences of all sin!
How do I explain that “free choice” is what the world promotes as the best way but it’s not God’s way? We’ve allowed the devil to deceive us once. It would be ridiculous to not learn from our errors. So I teach my children about God’s way of living and introduce them to our loving Father so that they can develop their own relationship with Him.
How do I explain that our parenting is not a burden or restriction to my children but rather a blessing of love from their God and parents?
How do I explain that we made these choices because we love our God and deeply desire to obey and please Him? We want our children to know the blessings that loving, hence obeying, our God brings.
I do not criticise those who judge our child rearing choices, instead I pray for them. My boys pray fervently for their children. We pray that they will one day know the love of God and want to obey Him too.
Until that day, I hope that they can see that just as they protect their children’s physical body by removing preservatives from their food, presenting only healthy food options, opting out of immunisation, or choosing not to eat from plastic containers, I choose to focus on my children’s spiritual health, removing things that God says are harmful to a good and blessed life. Both options come out of love for our children, they just start with different priorities.
How do I explain…? How do I get them to listen…?