Sunday, June 03, 2007

Good words for parents

Recently I became aware of an article by Reb Bradley that I'd like to recommend for all Christian parents, not just those who homeschool their children. Although it's titled "Solving the Crisis in Homeschooling", it really covers a lot more ground than that.

A quote to whet your appetite:

When my three married children were young, I was overly-confident in my approach to parenting. I was convinced that my children would grow up godly, and that they would avoid significant struggles with sin because of my parenting. I was absolutely certain that since I was training them "in the way they should go", and I was doing most everything I had written in my book, I would be a success as a parent. However, I had yet to discover it wasn't all about ME and MY success. In fact, I had yet to learn that the parent who thinks it’s all about THEIR success is often contributing to their children’s struggles. (Revelation #1 – proper parenting is about the children not the parent. I’ll explain in point 1.)

As each of my three oldest children reached adulthood I was shocked to discover that they did not conform exactly to the values I had sought to give them. They had retained much of what I had given, but not everything. Instead of being perfect reflections of my training, they each turned out to be individuals who had their own values and opinions. I had wrongly thought them to be exactly like wet clay, me being the potter with total control over what they would become. I was not prepared for their individuality, nor was I ready to see them as fleshly beings. As I watched them each face off with the Lord and have their own struggles with the flesh, like I had when I was their age, my homeschool dreams crashed royally.

After several years of examining what went wrong in our own home and in the homes of so many conscientious parents, God has opened our eyes to a number of critical blind spots common to homeschoolers and other family-minded people. Bev and I still stand behind what we have taught on parenting in the past. However, we urgently add to it the following insights.

While it is no secret to those familiar with Reb Bradley and me that we haven't seen eye to eye on several issues, at least in the past, I feel that this article is well worth reading. It certainly was a tremendous encouragement to me as a parent, and reminded me of the importance of focusing my heart and life on Jesus.


  1. That article is very moving and candid; thanks for posting the link. I had similar ways of thinking when first starting out as a home-schooling mom. My arrogance was exploded with my very first child, who had several mental/emotional problems as a teen. There were so many good things that came out of it all, though, things God worked in my heart. I have so much more compassion for others with difficult kids of all kinds, rather than a judgmental attitude. I find very close fellowship with others who have also had this view explode in their face (that if we do the right things as parents, it's a guaranteed blessing that they will do such and such....) Isn't it sad that there are so many fellow-believers around who are 'unsafe' to share with, because of what they will think ,or the wacky , presumptuous advice they will give?! -- Studying Luther's theology of glory vs theology of the Cross has helped me a lot too. It's very relevant to this.