Will You Pay the Price?
By Tammye Hamilton
Recently, a friend asked me the question Jon and I are most often asked by other parents. “How did you raise kids who didn’t rebel? Did you just have easy kids?” She asked.
“No.” I replied. “All of our children are strong-willed.”
Then I took a deep breath and dived into deep waters. “When our children were young, we told them they would be different.” Her eyes got big.
Long before they were too peer dependent we made tough decisions about peer interaction. We set family standards. They got tired of hearing us say, “Others may, you may not.”
We taught them God’s Word and of course we told each one, over and over, that they had a destiny.
Our children did not always agree with the standards we set for them. However, as they grew and matured they began to develop their own standards. As each one grew in their relationship with Jesus, we would see them grasp a sense of their own destiny.
What had been rules and boundaries when they were growing up became a guiding light for their lives as adults.
I warned my mommy friend that the decisions they made as parents would not only make them unpopular with their children, it would probably bring criticism from other parents.
Humans are complicated. We want to know the formula, the answer, but sometimes we are unwilling to pay the price.
Christian parents want obedient, godly kids. Unfortunately, we have known too many loving parents who wanted so much to be accepted and loved by their kids that they were not willing to go to war for them.
Sometimes the war for them requires what feels like battling with them.
No parent wants to cause their child pain. I remember a trip to the ER when I had to hold my son down while he was subjected to pain in order to treat an injury. I HATED that but I did it because it was vital for his recovery.
Parenting takes enormous amounts of courage. I have had to deny my soft mommy’s heart more than once. If I didn’t, who would fight the battle for my sons? Who would protect my daughters from the influences of evil all around them? How would they learn to choose God’s best for their lives?
So we accept that some parents don’t want to hear what we have to say. Our advice is not warm and fuzzy. It is not a formula and it is not easy. It does require faith and trust that He has a plan.
Our willful children have all found deep abiding purpose in God’s love for them. We are so grateful.
Is it all about the choices we made as parents? No, of course not. Without God’s grace permeating every decision we made, right and wrong, we would not have this testimony. It is all about Him.
We were just two clueless kids who fell into marriage and then decided to raise our children to serve God. We asked God and godly parents we knew how to do that AND He answered our prayers.
These are the words of Jesus in Matthew 7: “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
Jesus knew we have to make hard choices as believers. The good news is that the difficult road leads to His Kingdom!