Thursday, July 13, 2006

I always hesitate to write to knowingly on the "hows" and
"wherefores" of raising children. I think that my children
are beyond the beyond in fabulocity, so that is not why I
hesitate. It is just that the grace of God is so very extremely
evident to me that I feel to claim that I know THE WAY to do
things is going a bit far. However, the other night, Kent and I
were discussing one of our child-raising techniques and I
realized I might have some insight to give to those who are
seeking it.

We have been very relaxed parents on the physical end and
very diligent parents on the emotional and spiritual end. For
instance, I read one time that children get hurt more when
their parents are watching them on the playground than when
the parents' attention is elsewhere. Mostly that was because
the parents were constantly saying, "Watch out!" or "Be
careful." This distracted the kids and built inconfidence into
them. Most children are built with a sensor that lets them know
if what they are attempting is beyond them. Okay, I did run
when Tyler, (at age 12 months) was walking across the ridgepole
of the 12 foot high swingset. But when I got there I didn't even
say a word. I did not want him to fall. I just, outwardly calm,
but inwardly quaking, watched him walk to the end and climb
down. But with 4 very active children, children who rode pigs,
jumped on the backs of horses, climbed cliffs, tore around on
4-wheelers, ran barefoot on rocks, ran down the middle of
rivers, hunted and fished on their own...generally just enjoyed
life in every aspect, I just didn't worry. To learn, enjoy, experience
-this is what I want for my children. And, I guess I should add,
we have never had a broken bone, and just a very few stitches.

In a few weeks two of my boys and two of their cousins are taking
a 2-4 day camping trip on their own down the Current River. Now,
bear in mind, they did this same thing about 3 years ago. Tyler,
then 13, caught a fish, cleaned it, licked his fingers and then got
very sick a few hours later. Well, oh well. I didn't know about it
until they got back, and I still didn't fret over it, and he learned a
very valuable lesson on washing his hands after he cleans fish.

Okay, enough on that aspect. As relaxed as we are for them in
the physical realm, we are diligent in the spiritual realm. Now,
I do not mean we play the Holy Spirit. My job is not to catch them
in every wrong doing and beat them up for it. But we watch them
like hawks for their attitudes, their spiritual depth, their habits,
their laziness in this area, and we encourage and admonish. We
teach them in season and out about the ways and goodness of our
Lord. We had them begin giving a tithe from the first time they
ever earned money, and it is second nature to them now.
We guarded their hearts and minds from the filth on TV, but we
always talked to them very honestly about what was going on
in the world.

Kent just came in and when I told him what I was blogging on he
said in three or four sentences what I've just haggled on for the

1. Many parents spend more time being concerned with the
physical well-being of their child than the spiritual well-being.

2. We need to be careful physically...but we need to be more
careful spiritually.

3. The physical care we give will only last them a lifetime...the
spiritual will resound throughout eternity.

4. God has our appointed time in His hand. We do not need to
fear as we go about His work.

Preach on brother.

1 comment:

e-Mom said...

Wise thoughts... especially when you have boys and you live in the country! (I assume there are more opportunities for physical fun, but also more risk too.) Yes, we are spiritually training our children for eternity... a huge responsiblility!