thatmom

real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

organic family life ~ part three

sun

During the summer of 1988 we experienced the hottest and driest weather I can ever remember. Days and weeks and months went by without any pattern of rain. Wells went dry, garden plants shriveled on the vine, extreme heat day after day kept me indoors with three grade schoolers, one toddler, and a very pregnant tummy. We had only one window unit air conditioner in our house and we all parked in front of it, taking turns leaving the “cold room” to get drinks or pop cycles for each other, reading books and watching way too many movies.

At night we placed the window fans on high and I would soak a bath towel in cold water, ringing it out and draping it across my stomach as I tried to find a comfortable position for sleeping. We were certainly a miserable lot. Too much dry, hot weather produced nothing fruitful in the garden or in our home!

This year, up until the past week or so, it has been just the opposite. We were still seeing 40 degree temperatures in the middle of May and even now are way ahead in rainfall. Cold, wet weather is not conducive to lush crops either. Balance has tremendous impact on fruitfulness.

As I have been thinking about the external factors that affect the organic nature of family life, someone asked me if I wouldn’t consider looking at the whole concept of parental repentance that I briefly touched on last week. As I write, I am certainly not implying that parents are the only ones who sin in their homes. I believe that the Bible says is true, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Perhaps I will write about the sins of children one of these days but, quite frankly, it seems to me that there is a glut of information out there that dwells on the things children do wrong and very little that talks about what we as parents have done to sin against our children.

So today I am going to begin to look at those areas of family life where parents are required in Scripture to do certain things in their families, how we fall short of obeying these commands, the fruit that is produced in these environments, the need for repentance in these areas, and what that repentance ought to look like. I am starting with the admonitions to parents.

First and foremost, parents are instructed to love their children. Initially we might think it is silly to be told to love our children. From the moment they are welcomed into our home, we have a natural affection for them. As moms, we notice every little move as they float around in our wombs, being aware when their movements slow down and frantically calling the doctor when there is a concern. We endure the inconveniences of pregnancy, the pain of childbirth, the sleepless nights of infancy out of love for our children. It all seems so natural.

But Scripture repeatedly admonishes us to “love one another” and it instructs the older women in the church to teach the younger women to love their children. Love isn’t something that simply comes to us in our sinful state as human beings. We have to be reminded that love is a willful act, something we decide we will do. And yet, the closer we walk to the Lord and live in obedience as faithful Christians, the more naturally our genuine love for our children will flow from us. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us what that will look like: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

The second admonition we have as parents is to pray for our children. In warning the children of Israel to stay away from false gods and useless idols, the prophet Samuel acknowledged that he, too, would be in sin if he ceased to pray for them. (1 Samuel 12:23) So often we have expectations on our children that they will stay true to the Lord and not be overcome by the world, but we fail to lift them up in prayer. We forget to recognize that only by the grace of God and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their lives, will they accomplish the will of their Heavenly Father. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16 And when we pray for our children, we are to expect that He will answer: “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation!” Psalm 5:3

Next, I will look at the importance of blessing our children.

Here is part one of this series.

Here is part two of this series.

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2 Comments»

  Emily Fidler wrote @

Thank you for the welcome, I am a little late in responding! To tell you a little about myself I am a preacher’s wife with 3 little ones and I live in the middle of nowhere. 🙂 I just started homeschooling my soon to be 2nd grader last January so I am very new on the homeschooling front.

I found your blog through some of the blogs that deal with the patriarchial movement and how I came across that is the longest story ever! (BTW, I am not involved with it.) I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate this series you are doing as I am very much feeling my way out as a mom and a homeschooler. I feel a genuine desire on your part to offer wisdom and encouragement and not to intimidate or overwhelm. Thank you!

And thanks for checking out my blog. It is mostly silly stories from my life so if anyone here feels the need to feel better about themselves they can check out the chaos of my life and at least know they have it more together than me!! 🙂

  thatmom wrote @

Emily, I love reading stories about moms and their misadventures. We are at the stage of life right now where we can look back over those years of all the little ones at home, the chaos, and the falling into bed of pure exhaustion of parenting. We both have days we really miss that, probably me more than my husband. He is a fairly quiet, reserved guy to begin with and not the people person I am. I often find myself longing for the hubbub!


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