Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Emerging Parents

In case you haven't noticed, Emerging Parents is up and running again. New design and everything! Consider visiting. Join the conversation but be a good listener. The scriptures tell us to pray for one another and encourage one another, among other things. (There's a whole post on one-anothers in this blog somewhere.)

When we first decided to home school a zillion years ago (my youngest is 19 now) my mother-in-law (a Russian Orthodox-Episcopalian, a mother, teacher, and lover of kids) cautioned my husband not to experiment on our children. It wasn't our intention to experiment on them, but I won't say it wasn't scary to attempt to do something so different with so much potential (both good and bad). You screw up homeschooling and you haven't got anyone else to blame but yourself. I say that as someone who did it for 17 years. We had a church and a homeschool community and a greater community to participate in and God met us there. Kids survived. I hope they did more than just survive.

We walk with God and He knows our hearts. We can't wrestle with God and tell Him we're not. He knows when we're wrestling. Sometimes we're not wrestling with God we're wrestling with everything else. He knows where we are and where we're going. He knows the way He made us better than we do. He knows when we're just going through the motions. I'd like to think that if we're actively seeking God some of us find ourselves wrestling more than most people understand. Even Jesus wrestled. Israel wrestled with God and it left him permanently crippled. God didn't heal him, either. But that's a separate topic.

Fortunately or unfortunately, whatever the case may be, our children take life's journey with us by default even when we're wrestling with God. They have no choice. Our relationship with God and His people is largely our responsibility and our children are our responsibility and making it all work in everyone's best interest is just flat-out-hard especially if you aren't one of those people who do what everyone else is doing just because everyone else is doing it, even if it's "the right thing to do". "Hard" doesn't even do the word justice.

If it isn't hard for you, don't worry but understand that there are people who will always wrestle not because there's anything wrong but because they're human beings with all of our limitations seeking desperately know the God who made them in all the ways that God will allow them to know Him. Sometimes they're wrestling because they want God to do something new or maybe it's the spirit of God in them wrestling to see God do something new. Who knows!

If you're a childrens minister, understand that the voices from Emerging Parents may not be representative of those who are still bringing their kids to church but more representative of believers who aren't. As I recall, Jesus is a Good Shepherd - the best!

One of my favorite verses in my 20's from Proverbs 4:18 "The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day." I have always been an early morning person, much to my mother's dismay. I learned pretty young that she didn't want to wake up early in the morning so I'd wander out to the barn with cookies for my dad and sit on the fence and watch the sun come up. If you ever get up around daybreak, it's pretty dark early in the morning. But even though it's dark we sit there knowing that the sun is there somewhere and it will get brighter and brighter until the full day.

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