I was thinking the other day that Pete's vasectomy reversal and the five children we've been blessed with following that reversal have given us a very unique set of circumstances--we really DO get to "do it over". I've often heard parents of teens or young adults talk about what they'd do differently if they had the chance to, and what's ironic is that MOST of them would have been stricter. I guess that's a sad fact of my generation--still trying to eek out from under the iron fists of the baby boomers, we went a direction that led us and our children down a path we'd have avoided had we known the outcome.
Well....I know that outcome, and I'm blessed with the awesome task of somehow correcting mistakes with the second "set" of children. Don't get me wrong; I don't think my older two children are hopelessly broken or that they're awful people. Quite the contrary. Both Jon and Kelsey are pretty good kids, now that we're past the "worst" of their rebellion (I hope). Problem is...somehow we missed the mark in training them how to be holy--and by "holy" I don't mean self-righteous Pharisees, but in the truest sense of the word--set apart for God's purposes. Unfortunately, giving in to many of the things that even our Christian parent-peers were doing with their own children has left our children blind to the fine line between black and white. I want to be sure that our younger children learn to detest the "gray area" just as much as the darkness. THAT is where we went "wrong".
I know I'm not going to earn the Mother of the Year award for any of this; I really couldn't care less about that. I just want to see my children grow up to love the things of God more than the things of this world. And it is not going to come easy to any of us. I can't sacrifice too much more than I already have with the first two--except my comfort. This is going to be hard work for me, and most of it is new territory, because I know of very few people who hold their children to higher standards than their worldly neighbors; most Christians, it's sad to say, are just like "everybody else" except they may not participate in the "truly" sinful stuff. Is it any wonder that a whole generation of children raised in the church are spiritual midgets without true conviction not only regarding doctrine but also conduct, thoughts, and what they worship?
What would God say about the quasi-idolatry of putting things, friends, "fitting in", and entertainment (yes, entertainment....look at what most youth groups around the country DO and you'll see what I'm talking about) before the true task of living God's purposes in our life? What would God say about how floppy most Christians' definition of idolatry is?
Pete and I have a growing list (based on the results we've seen with our older children and their peers) of things that we're doing differently with the younger girls. Listed by themselves, each thing would be considered a tyrannical abomination to most kids/teens.
From here on out, if it doesn't fulfill God's purpose for my children, it won't be happening. Sorry. My girls' lives will be far from "bland", I can assure you. They will have friends, as do their parents; they will have enjoyable activities; they will have everything they need. But as far as the "rest" goes.....
As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.