Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Training Hearts for Integrity

I've been trying my best to stay in the game lately.  I had a really bad run with my neck causing migraines.  Most weeks my incredibly helpful and wonderfully considerate hubby is gone at least 3 or 4 days and it's just me running this show.  It's not easy...especially when you are experiencing that much pain physically.  I find myself praying for my sons memories...that all the good times outweigh all the times I am in bed with an ice pack!

Thankfully, I have also had some very productive days too though.  I feel like we are gaining good momentum in our math trials finally.  I have been diligent about making sure learning is happening in many ways, but realizing I have allowed too much to take precedence over the Word of God...the source of true wisdom.  So, we are refocusing yet again.

What drew my attention to this is the attitudes and words my boys were slinging at one another.  I can always tell when I've dropped the ball!  It's easy to do when you are being a single parent, trying to keep up with everything.  It's so easy to let the T.V. entertain them!

It's hard being here with them alone a lot.  It's hard hearing questions and needs and disputes and rowdy play all day long.  It's hard to be a female and try to teach males to be males! And, it's really hard to be a girly-girl surrounded by BOY!

I've had a lot of worrisome thoughts battling in my mind about Garrison and high school.  I can't believe we are at this point, and everything from here on out really counts and must be recorded correctly.  No more trying out different teaching/learning methods and materials.  We need a plan.  We need God's plan...His perfect plan for Garrison.

Tom and I spent last weekend at a homeschool convention. I wish every parent could attend some of the teachings there...whether they homeschool or not.  It's just good advice, and I always leave feeling refreshed and reminded of what life is really about.  I don't want to get lost in trying to mimic the public school system or secular humanistic ways.  I want our priorities straight!

I've started praying for my husband to be able to have a job that will allow him to be with us more.  We miss him.  So thankful for the job he has and that he enjoys it, but we want him home. I NEED HIM!

It's so sad to think of how far the American family unit has drifted...how everyone is entertained separately by their media devices, running in all directions and knowing so little about one another.

That's not my family.  I am just not going to succumb to what society calls normal now.  I believe in setting a standard, preparing your children for it, and sticking to it.  

We have certain things we have been sharing with our sons for years...things like, we will not support you dating a bunch of different girls.  God never meant for you to "try out" people and end up fragmented or cause others to be.  If we had waited until they were teens to spring this on them, we would have been met with much opposition of course.  Thankfully, God spoke to our hearts when they were very young and now they are embracing these standards for themselves.  

Does that mean they like it?  Does it always feel good to their flesh?  No way; they are human!  But they are seeing the joy that comes in holding out for something better.  They have seen the hurt that using other people for moments of pleasure can bring.

We also have told them that they won't be spending every weekend away from home as they get older.  It's not God's way and watching others around us has shown just how detrimental that is for children and families in the long run.  

We are very, very picky and cautious about who our children spend time with and who influences them.  We don't allow many sleepovers away from home outside our family and very close friends.  There is just no need for it, and we know about too much that has happened in those activities.

Are my boys bitter toward us for this?  Thankfully, no.  Again, because it has been talked about WITH them and not thrown AT them, they have come to see and embrace the reasons as their own.  Sometimes it bums them out, but they know that we are not trying to withhold anything from them, only give them the very best and set them up for true success later.

It's hard being a parent.  It's hard standing against the status quo.  It's hard watching our children feel sad and answering all the questions that come at us by those who don't agree with our choices.  It's hard facing the judgments of others and even hearing our children be made fun of...but I will continue to tell my guys that I never want them to "fit in."

I want them to be godly young men of integrity who stand up and stand out.  I want them to be the guys every father has their eye on as best potential son-in-law...men of integrity who will be worthy of that father's pride and joy...his little princess.

I'm just not willing to settle on this.  I'm not willing to accept the lie that all teenagers have to be rebellious or hard to deal with or egocentric!  I have had the pleasure of meeting several young people who are not that way at all.  I know young people who are sold out to God and not living for themselves!

The path of integrity is not easy.  Many times it is not fun.  Most of the time it requires the laying down of your flesh and what you want for the betterment of another.  

I'm so thankful God got a hold on my heart in time to change my priorities as a mother.  I am forever grateful that my little men already have more convictions than most adults I know.  This journey won't be peaches and cream for them, but I know they can stick to the path God has set their feet upon.  I know they can be men who stand for righteousness in their generation and be led by true wisdom which began with their fear of the Lord.

The academics will get taken care of, but training their hearts is of far greater importance.

So, how do you protect and train your children's hearts?  If your children are grown, tell me what you did that helped or hurt.  What standards did you/have you set for your family?  Or which ones do you plan to set as your babies grow up?

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