'Children are a gift form the Lord' and I thank God for the children he has given me. In the early stages of parenting, I thought that pre-schooling in motherhood would have made me better prepared to face everything from teething to tantrums, from the terrible 'twos' to the 'moody' teens and the 'that-was-in-your-day' to the 'that's-what-everyone-does'! Nothing, absolutely nothing, could have prepared me enough, for the simple reason that parenting involves dealing with human-beings, whose moods are as unpredictable as the wind!
With most things in life, we learn 'on the job'. This sounds a bit scary, like being thrown into a swimming pool and being told to swim! No, it's really not that bad because we have a life-supporting system, a manual and guide - the Bible. Now, that sounds easy, doesn't it? Well, I would say that it's a more straightforward approach even when it doesn't seem easy. Of course, we have other options but the easiest option is to be guided by this manual and not by the ever-changing manuals of the world.
As christians, (I myself being one, whose husband loves God but...), the challenges are more about compromising, so as to achieve a healthy balance. The question is, "What do you NOT compromise?". The answer is simple - Integrity, that of the Word of God. It is quite easy to 'go too far' and lose touch with God, in an attempt to please or for the sake of peace.
Peace at any cost can be detrimental. It starts early in infanthood, when we give into toddler tantrums by rewarding our children with whatever they want - for the sake of some peace. We withhold discipline so that our children do not 'feel' different from their mates. As a result for example, our young teenagers are more aware of contraceptive options than the beauty of abstinence. The 'experts' certainly do not help when, based on their statistics of teenage pregnancies, gynaecologists for example talk about "When your daughter starts the pill...", as if it were oxygen she could not live without! Going shopping adds to this dilemma of pressure, whether it be for food or clothing. The idea that we must buy what we find in the shops because we 'have no other option' is a good marketing tool created by us - the consumers. Now we have a good excuse for dressing the way we shouldn't be, watching programmes that blind us spiritually and listening to things that block our connection to God.
I am also on this bandwagon, sometimes having to literally scream my way through it! I feel the pressure too, quite heavily from all sides - husband, children, me and of course, from the Lord. Deep within is someone reminding me that I and I alone am responsible for my decisions! I am accountable to God on how I raise my children, how I treat my husband, how I dress and so on. So, having done all to do, we can stand. Does this mean that our children will never go astray? No, there is unfortunately no guarantee!
How then do we get through and not lose our minds? How do we strike the right balance, staying true to God and maintaining a healthy relationship with our loved ones? I would like to leave you to ponder on these and I shall be back next week to share my thoughts on the matter. Feel free to leave your comments on the matter.
Till next week, keep on walking in Christ.