Sunday, September 27, 2009

Do Parents Need Relief From Their Children?

This may not be a question you have asked but I have heard it said in passing a number of times. To make a confession I thought like this in a manner when we first started homeschooling many years ago. I would see my wife frazzled after a day with the children and seriously thought that the government school would be the answer. The truth is that I was more concerned about how my wife related to me than her well being. Instead of looking to see how I could help with the schooling I was seeking to, at least to my mind, eliminate the problem. What I should have done was seek out scripture and seek to help with the schooling and not try and find a way to avoid the issue by sending my children away.

This same mentality often permeates the church as I have heard many people speak of parents needing a break from their children during worship as a reason to send their children off to “children’s church” or some form of youth group. What is missed is the God given opportunity to train our children to worship as God calls them to by including them in the activities on the Lord’s Day alongside the adults. I mention this as the issue with children in the meeting of the church and the need to send children off to school to give mom a break often stem from the same misguided view of children.

Children are called a blessing (PS 127:3) in scripture but all too many Christians by their actions treat them as an inconvenience. I believe this results from not understanding why we as believers have children. If God’s purpose in everything is to glorify Himself, and it is, then children must be given to us so as to glorify Him. Thus the main purpose God gives us children is to raise them to glorify Him and to do this at all cost. If our mindset is to raise children to glorify God and that God will empower us to do so I think our mindset on needing relief from them would be less of a temptation.

We are a culture of relaxation and that mindset infiltrates every area of our lives and this includes the raising of our children. We do not see this drive for relaxation and relief when reading Scripture and in truth we do not see it from the great movements of God in history. What we do see is a pursuit to raise families that seek to honor God in all they do. Can children be difficult, can they being tiring, the answer is yes. The fact they can be all these things is not a reason however to seek to avoid our responsibility to raise them in any way we can.

Let me add here that the husband plays a great part in this. Where I failed to help as I should have I would encourage other fathers not to do the same. Seek ways to help in the raising of your children so that by mutual encouragement and support the temptation to seek relief from your children will not surface. Homeschooling is a family endeavor not simply a job for the wife. I would say, and I too failed here, the responsibility for the homeschooling lies with the husband. Scripture speaks of the father as the one that is to train the children (Eph 6:4) and while we as fathers may enlist our wives in this endeavor we are responsible to God and would add that responsibility is not just for the children but also for the welfare of our wives. If our wives are tired we need to care for the children not send them off to the government.

I started by asking if parents need relief from their children which often leads to the temptation to send ones children to the government schools. I hope you have seen that this is a question that should not be entered into as it stems from a wrong view of children and our responsibility to them. It is a question we need to repent of if we have asked it, and I have in the past, and ask God to give us the right mindset with regards to children.

Series Posts
1) Christian Homeschooling and Charter Schools
2) What is the purpose of Christian Education: Part 1 & Part 2
3) Should the Government be involved in the Education of our children
4) Why are we so easily swayed by the money & items offered by charter schools?
5) Should not my children be in the public school to be lights in a dark place?
6) Why do we need to meet man’s standards for education?
7) Why do we need relief or a respite from the presence of our children?
8) Isn't how we educate our children a preference?
9) What if my husband says he does not want to homeschool?

No comments: