January 29, 2014

Freedom to Parent

Many ideas that float across our computer screens, or appear in parenting books, or you may hear about in discussions with friends are not actually morally bankrupt, bad, or unhelpful. In fact, my family has benefited from several great resources out there and hints or tips to guide us in handling fragile situations with our children.

We discover there are many ways to do the same thing, none of which are the wrong way—just different.

In Canada, we have the freedom to choose any number of avenues for our children’s education. We make choices for our children all of the time—what or how much television to watch, perhaps what types of music to listen to. We help them decide which hobbies or sports to be involved in. Even socially, parents can have a great influence on their children’s relationships with other children. We don’t all have to follow the same bedtime routine.

In Scripture, as a follower of Christ, there is grace to make all of kinds of decisions for my family based on preference or interest. There is freedom to form choices based on what we believe God is telling us is best for our individual family unit. We do not have to be like anybody else, as much as we may aspire to be like a particular family we love! We are called to imitate Christ, and that is all. And we are called to teach our children these ways also. We do not need to measure up to anybody else. And nobody else must do it the way we are doing it.

That’s it.  Done.

We do not have to keep up with anybody else’s schedules—compete with other families’ talents or interests, even educate the same way as so-and-so. We do not have to have the same social calendar as them. As mothers we have the freedom to invest in what God calls us to in our own family. We are allowed to make our own health and wellness choices as we see best for our family’s strengths and weaknesses.

We can say no when we feel we must.

As we discern all of the different possibilities for our children – entertainment, extra-curriculars, fashion, friends, social schedules, the only thing we must do is point our children to Christ, and make choices that glorify God and emphasize Christ’s supremacy in our lives. 

Scripture is not a book of laws and regulations, telling us what types of clothes to wear, if ear piercings are allowed or not, how much tv is acceptable at what age, or whether or not our child must participate in team sports. Rather it shows us that we need saving from our sinful state only through Jesus' finished work on the cross! And to experience His forgiveness and grace, and enjoy earthly blessings as He leads our decisions and we allow the Spirit to work in our hearts and empower us to walk to obediently, proclaiming His freedom to the nations.

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  1. What an awesome post. I LOVE THIS!! So often we see women pushing their opinions on other new moms...or even criticizing others' decisions, which is sad. God made us all so unique, and we should honor that, even if we don't agree with it. If it doesn't violate Biblical standards, then we have the freedom to walk in uniqueness and we should freely give that same freedom to others. Thank you for such a beautiful, grace-filled post!

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    2. Yes I see women criticizing each other's preferences, or feeling inadequate/insecure as they compare with one another or try to measure up. It is sad. It's wrong. But unfortunately a bondage we get tangled up in so easily. Take care.