It’s fall again; end of summer, beginning of school, cooler evenings and chilly mornings. We usually think of spring as a time of new beginnings, but for me this year, it is fall. It is my first year with record low school enrollment-2. My first year jumping into teaching at the big co-op. My first year as a mother-in-law. My first year without all my children at the holidays. Hmm, yes, new beginnings and many changes.
For all of us, children brought unexpected changes in our lives. No matter how prepared or unprepared we thought we were for our children, God never lets us know the whole story before hand. He is wise and knows we could never handle that. It is why we have to trust Him. If we look at what the world says, how much money and time it takes to raise a child to adulthood (which, by the way, they are claiming is into the late twenties now), we would be foolish at best to have children. We could only hope to minimize the damage they will incur as they grow up in this crazy world.
When we first got married, I told my husband I didn’t want children. Not because that is how I really felt, but because I was afraid of the health problems I had. I didn’t want those passed on to my children. Neil said we needed to trust God. When my first two sons were born, I was afraid to nurse them because of the AIDS problem. You see, I have Hemophilia C and I require blood transfusions with every surgery and childbirth. When Alan and Sean were born, the blood supply safeties were not as strict as with my last two children. So I trusted God, nursed my babies and got my AIDS and Hepatitis screens for the first six months. I was learning to lean on the Lord for the health and well being of my children.
But what about the world? Could I trust Jesus to capture my children’s hearts and keep them for himself? How can we live in this world and not become a part of it? How can we stand as an example against it and still be approachable? Part of the answer was in the call to homeschool. I didn’t get the chance to homeschool until my husband lost his job when the older boys were finishing the 2nd and 5th grades. I had wanted to since Alan was born, but Neil was concerned that I wouldn’t thrive at home because I so enjoyed teaching women’s bible study at church. My gift is teaching. I love to use it in a variety of settings. We have been able to infuse our children’s schooling with the Word of God. Jesus and faith have not been relegated to Sundays, but He is part of everyday life: school, church, scouts, girls ‘club, food pantry, family life.
But…it all comes to naught if it does not become our child’s faith. To make it in this world, THEY have to have a vibrant relationship with Jesus. They need to learn to trust Him and follow His will and walk against the evils of the world they live in. When they are young, they just give you all the right answers, the ones you have taught them. Then comes a scary time when they begin to question all those beliefs. That is the time that faith is becoming their own, not yours. It is scary for us because we hear all their questions. “How do you know God is real”? “How do you know God really inspired the authors of the Bible?” And many more. Just hold on and keep praying, give them honest answers. Help them seek the scriptures to find the answers for themselves. Challenge them to ask Jesus to reveal Himself to them. They need to form their own unique relationship with God. He will be their strength and shield for the remainder of their days.
Change, it seems to come back to that. Everything around us changes and brings something new. Our children grow older, the world around us becomes smaller and more hostile. Decay is more evident. But through it all, we have an anchor, Jesus. He never changes. That is why we can trust Him. Our theme verses for the year talk about staying true to the Word and Jesus Christ when many are letting themselves be carried away with “interesting new ideas”. It comes in the way of schooling, churches, fashion, language, culture, morals, etc. No matter the beginnings you have this year, make one thing a constant, pursue Christ Jesus. Invite Him for tea, let Him share His wisdom and love with you. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.