My Utmost for His Highest…

This weekend I was talking to a colleague who has a completely different view of the world.

She is a Christian who despairs of the secular pressures laid upon parents today.

I am a Christian who remembers the charge God has given me to teach my children.  Those runny nosed, demanding, bundles of joy entrusted to me, and my blue eyed cowboy, by their Father in heaven for a season…

When I asked my colleague what the future looked like through her eyes for her little bundles of joy, she shook her head and answered,

“Parents are doing such a bad job of bringing up their children that I think the task of child rearing will fall more and more to the state.”

I shuddered at the dark image state child rearing brought to mind.

Stark reminders of the Badman report in England and the German Romeike family who have been granted political asylum in America because of their government’s persecution of  homeschoolers, are all too close.

The future through my eyes for my children is one filled with Good News.  No state intervention for me.  I look to my creator and place the responsibility of child rearing  above my highest joy hand in hand with my Lord and Saviour.

The Good News is that we are saved by Christ’s ultimate act of obedience to die on the cross for our sins.

The Good News is that in three days He rose and lives forever in us, if we so choose.

The Good News is that by obeying the commands of God our lives will become linked with Christ as we grow more like Him.

The Good News is that just by accepting His gift of salvation, which we certainly do not deserve and assuredly could not get by ourselves, we are promised a place with God for eternity.

How can I not pass all this on to my children?  How can I not be an outstanding example of my Christian faith and show them that life for me is all about God’s heavenly Kingdom not this earthly kingdom?  How can I relinquish my children’s upbringing and future to a government that really doesn’t care about anything but itself?

Sadly, for some parents and their children, the step to government run child raising is a short one.  They are already relinquishing their child rearing 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.

(I am not talking about those who don’t have the option.)

My decision to stay at home came partly because I worked out that I was working only to pay the daycare and summer camp bills for my four children.  Somehow this seemed skewed to me!

This trend, to relinquish child-rearing responsibilities to professionals outside their families, has paddled its way across the pond.  My brother, in England, rejoiced when he heard that breakfasts were now being offered at his sons’ private school,

“That’s one less thing I have to worry about in the chaos of the morning,” he said to me.

Both he and his wife work.

“We have to…” they say.

This makes me smile because they decided to live beyond the means of a single income family right from the beginning of their marriage.

A lot of women feel fulfilled by going out to work.  I used to identify myself by my job, I was a corporate, upper level, manager.

There are solutions to working and staying at home, I have interviewed Mums who do just that.

As for me, I am my child’s mother.  You know,

“Ian’s Mum,”

It’s never the other way around…people don’t seem to know my name anymore!

My brother, still in London, has a babysitter who collects his two boys from school and takes them to her home in the afternoon.  She feeds them their tea (dinner to us), and when my brother picks them up and takes them to their home in the evening all he has to do is bathe them, make sure they do their homework and put them to bed.  I stayed with him once and they didn’t eat as a family once during the week!

Happily for me the step to government run child raising would be a very long one.   My children are being raised and carefully grown within the secure and warm arms of their family.   Because they were homeschooled I spent every moment of every day with them and their blue-eyed father was usually on hand, together we fully realized our God given responsibilities as parents.

We still sacrifice a great deal of our personal life for our offspring as they think of the family home as theirs and still live with us enjoying all the benefits in return for their company….and the peace of mind that they are sleeping under a roof, eating well and have a safe car, mine, to drive around in which is sometimes parked all day in the college parking lot.  Sometimes I pay my youngest back by taking her to class and picking her up so I can tootle around town, her friends delight in teasing her,

“Oh Maliiiiia!  Your Mum’s here to pick you up from college…”

We sacrifice privacy, trust me with adult children in your house there is a not a moment to yourself.  I have to hole up in the spare bedroom upstairs if I want to get a few hours of writing done, or just take a nap without everyone knowing about it.

I’d like to say we are preparing them for life on their own, equipping them for the world, but my eldest, who eventually moved less than a mile away, still calls and asks the most asinine questions,

“How do you cook corned beef?”

“Aren’t the instructions on the bag?” I ask,

“Well yes, but I wanted to hear it from you.”  Ahhh!

We are also looking forward to a happy future watching them find spouses and raise their own families with the strong foundations we have laid.

Hopefully by then we’ll be miles away safely tucked into our retirement home with not a worry in the world.  But hang on, I would like to coo over grandchildren and then give them back!

Hopefully our children won’t allow others to rear their children for them, but whatever they decide to do we know we have done, in the famous words of Oswald Chambers,

Our, “Utmost for His highest.”


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