A guest of mine, Dr. Marlene McMillan, defines liberty as,
“The opportunity to make a choice to assume responsibility and accept the consequences.”
In contrast she defines freedom as the ability to do whatever we choose with little or no responsibility attached.
Liberty is a conviction rather than an entitlement.
Last year my husband and I were talking to a colleague about what he thought the future looked like for his two teenage children and he shook his head before answering,
“Parents are doing such a bad job of bringing up their children that I think the government is going to become more involved in parenting in the future.”
The sad thing about this statement is that some of today’s young adults may find nothing wrong with it, they may even agree and in some cases and write laws upholding it.
Recently a fifteen year old child I know of was on probation, he was sent back to jail for the second time in as many months because of drug and alcohol abuse. His parents, who both work full time, were devastated and blamed the parole officer for not doing his job.
Parents, it is our responsibility to raise our children, to grow them in the way God intended. It is not the responsibility of the government or law enforcement agencies to raise our children, to keep them under surveillance without our help and support. Somewhere along the way, when our children are in crisis, we need to make sacrifices and step up to the post.
When God asks,
“Whom shall I send, who will go for us?” are we able to say, “Here am I! Send me.” ? (Isaiah 6:8)
For our colleague the step to government-run child raising is obviously a short one, he may even lump himself in with the parents who are doing a terrible job with their children. He and others like him are already relinquishing their parenting responsibilities to professionals outside their family. School breakfasts and lunches, after school care and centres, summer camps and workshops all take the parents out of the loop.
When my children were very young they wanted all kinds of freedoms, to watch television, to visit friends, to play or to use the phone. When they were caught abusing the privilege or neglecting a chore or responsibility because of overuse of the freedom granted to them, they did not like the attendant consequence which was usually to lose the freedom they had been granted.
Dr. Marlene has it nailed, the more we fully understand and appreciate the liberty we have the more freedom we will have, but true liberty comes with responsibility and it is not always easy.
My children were raised and carefully grown within the secure and warm arms of their family. As parents we spent every moment of each day with them carrying out our God given responsibilities.
To imagine our children, one day in the future, allowing others to rear their children is quite unfathomable to us.
God has undoubtedly been the driving force behind my homeschooling story.
My great prayer is that my words will encourage parents from all walks of life who want to stay at home with their children and even teach them if their heart so desires.
Despite the worldliness of this American city in which we live, my husband and I have shown that against all odds, downsizing to a single income family is certainly a reality if one believes in one’s conviction.
It takes courage and determination to raise the future generation of law makers, leaders and parents, as moral citizens who will take responsibility for their actions, suffer the consequences and soldier on for the benefit of all our futures.
Liberty is more than freedom, as homeschoolers we take on the responsibility of raising and educating our children and accepting the consequences.