Monday, September 20, 2010

walk this way.

Every family has particular values they live by. Whether recognized as such, values are based on a sense of right and wrong. Because definitions of right and wrong can vary, I have found the Bible to be utmost in my life...a book that hasn't been written in the last 150 years as some newer religions and their books claim.

There are absolutes contrary to what our culture says. And those absolutes may not necessarily give us the results in our lifetime. Sometimes, it will play out years after we are gone, in our children and grandchildren's lives and in our nation. That said, we cannot deter from values simply because "it didn't work for me". We, as so many of our predecessors have done, must think beyond ourselves and today.

While values are outlined clearly in the scripture (and by the way, the sense of right and wrong is written on our hearts - just look at the guilt on a 2 year old's face when he smacks his brother!), we will find variety in our families.

Yesterday, while shopping, I heard an elderly husband and wife talking: "I'm following this young man to the garden center", he told his wife with a tell-tale North Jersey accent. The wife "snapped" back but not really. I grew up in a suburb of NYC and I smiled since it brought me back. She was just talking the way that culture talks. To someone listening it may sound like they are being rude to each other but I knew it wasn't the case.

Variety is okay. Don't try to be someone you are not.

Secondly, if you don't teach values to your children I guarantee someone else will. We cannot assume that the "professionals" will do it. By that I mean teachers, counselors, coaches, other parents... you get the gist. God has given your children to you for a reason. You are the right mom.

I am almost 54 and have a 17, 15, and 9 year old at home. I thank God He has given me the ability to be very conscientious about my role as a mother. Because my kids are homeschooled, they are with me 24/7. Daily, I am still guiding and directing words and actions. This is way more difficult than teaching academics. It involves continual application in their chores, their relationships and their time.

I can tell you that by 7pm I am exhausted! But if not me, than who?

Keep in mind that 100 years ago and more that the "professionals" were not around. As a culture we have given up so much of our role and authority to others. The more we are influenced by our culture the more you will believe this. I am not suggesting we live as hermits. I am suggesting that as we entrust our children to others that we are careful to be involved with our oversight. In the background perhaps, but watching over our children.

As we grow in understanding we will grow in wisdom. Wisdom is the kind of thing that brings balance. It executes understanding with grace and yet, "nails" it. It's the thing that tells us to be a mother bear but how to be a wise mother bear. Our role doesn't give us the right to overprotect our kids to the point that they never grow up (think yelling at the ref from the stand or the school teacher).

Consider what your family values are and make them utmost in your responsibilities. You can provide a nice house, nice clothes, and healthy meals for your children. Yet, if values are nearly absent in our daily lives, it will hurt our kids more than if they had values without all the nice things.

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