I am reading a great book right now. It is called The Survivors Guide to Home Schooling. It has been encouraging, given me lots of ideas, and also given me a realistic outlook on some things that I have yet to face but know I will.
One chapter I read tonight though, was awesome. And interestingly enough it was mostly not about home schooling. It was especially refreshing for me because Kai just turned 8 months old and we are beginning to repeat all of the training that started with Hana at about this age. He is currently into EVERYTHING. And he is not responding to "NO!" as obediently as Hana did. I am seeing first hand that there is a lot less serotonin in that little boy body than in a little girl! LOL (serontonin is a hormone that is believed to cause girls make more rational decisions and be less daring and less wreckless)!
This chapter in the books starts out talking about situations where the parents have major problems home schooling because they haven't disciplined their children according to the Bible! The portion of the chapter that simply talks about what the Bible says about discipline and how/why to discipline your children, is one of the most concise, well thought out echoes of my own beliefs I have ever read. A few quotes...
"Children need to be taken from parent control, to self-control, to God control. This is the big picture that a parent needs to keep in mind."
"Obedience involves doing the will of another who has authority in your life. It means doing what you are told to do instead of what you wanted to do. It is our job to make them obey us (parent control) until they learn to choose to obey us (self-control) and then learn to choose to obey the Lord (God control)."
"An adult who has never learned to obey an authority in his life has a very difficult time learning to obey the Lord. Knowing that obedience to the will of God is what produces real peace and fulfillment, we see how important it is to teach our children to be obedient."
TOO many parents including Christian parents, have fallen into the trap of listening to a purely humanistic philosophy of child raising. It is very appealing because it SEEMS so gentle and loving. I am living in a country right now where these humanistic philosophies of child raising are universally the norm. Some of it is because they purposefully set out to raise their children this way. For others, it is just because it is all they have seen or they are too lazy to discipline or don't even realize they should. Almost no one raises their children with character training and strict discipline here. And overwhelmingly this way of raising kids is a HUGE failure! It just doesn't work. That is the bottom line.
Interestingly enough it is directly and totally the opposite of what the Bible teaches.
It says... Children are born totally innocent and sinless and left to choose they will do what is right.
The Bible says... Children are born with a sinful nature (Jer. 17:9) In the book she makes a profound statement "We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners." So true!
Humanism says... Children are incredibly open, selfless and pure.
The Bible says... Children are foolish and self centered. (Prov. 22:15)
We have some friends, who were raising their child on the humanism philosophy and they believed he knew what was best for hiimself better than they the parents did (because he was without sin and even closer to God than they, the sinful parents were). The last time we were around them a lot, I saw a very self centered, stubborn child who controlled his parents and they could not control him.
Humanism says... While it is true that a parent must protect his/her child from danger, there is some question as to whether one human being has the right to enforce his will upon another. Especially since the child is pure and good and the parent is not.
The Bible says... It is the parents' God-given responsibility to train up their children. (Prov. 29:17, Prov. 22:6, Deut. 6:6,7)
and the list goes on and on.
I see so many parents around me struggling with their children. They are following the humanistic way of thinking in raising their kids or simply not disciplining them at all because they don't know how to or want to. They are miserable and their children are miserable.
I also see older people who were raised this way struggling so much with life. Earlier I wrote how the author talked about children who can't respect authority growing up to struggle with being obedient to God. I have seen this in many people but right now am thinking specifically of a close up experience with a certain person in my life. I have watched this person try to the best of his/her ability to obey God but be totally incapable of doing it. And then run from God, fully aware that they would be happier if they would obey. Then come back and then run again. And the cycle continues.
It is sometimes comical to see the looks on Japanese peoples' faces when Hana obeys us immediately when we tell her to do something. It is expected here that your child won't obey you, and a shock when they do. On occasion a parent will want to know how we got Hana to obey and we will tell them. They smile and nod like, "How nice for you, but that would never work for me." They don't even want to TRY.
It breaks my heart to see so much difficulty that could be prevented. So much heartache that could have been avoided.
I wish I could write like the author of this book I am reading. I wish I could somehow present a different possibility in a way that would motivate even some parents to think differently and put forth some effort. But if there is anything I have learned as a missionary it is that I can't do anything. Only God works in hearts and changes people.
But since we are asked so often about our child raising philosophies, I thought I might share some of it on my blog. I am NOT a perfect parent. BY far, I still have a lot to learn and I still have a lot of progress to make in applying (and applying well) these philosophies I believe in. I am not writing this because I think I have it all together as a Mom. I am writing it because I feel we've formed our philosophies on the ONE true Father who IS perfect and knows exactly how it should be done. And as I learn and understand along the way, I thought I would share some. I am being reminded of so much as we start from scratch with Kai.
Training my children, I feel is the third most important thing I will do on this earth. #1 is serving my God and #2 is being a mate to my Sugarpie!
And so I will pray and maybe sometimes write a little...