Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It Was Easier Before I Started Thinking

I think it all started when I cracked open my Bible and started looking up all these verses that homeschoolers always site as their reason for homeschooling. I was so against homeschooling before that. Reading the scriptures kind of changed how I was thinking. (If I was thinking at all!) Then I read some books written from a Christian point of view on the subject. See, this isn't about academics for me. It's about what I read in those scriptures.

It changed how I think about parenting.

A lot.

Apparently, we aren't through with revisions around here.

So I went through a time of feeling like, "I am SO not up for this task!" to realizing I needed the Lord's help, to asking for that help, to feeling hopeful...that He would do a good work in my children through my willingness to obey.

It's just that now I can't quit thinking. I'll give you an example.

I heard at Sweetheart's (very large national girls' club) meeting about how moms couldn't go on the camping trip with their daughters because one of the big goals of (aforementioned club) was to make the girls independent. Towards that end, we are having a sleep-over in order for the girls to practice being away from their parents overnight before camping.

Hmmmm. My first thought as I was listening was, "I'm not sure it's one of my parenting goals to make my 8 year old independent of her mom and dad. " I mean, eventually...she will be more independent of us. But I'm not rushing to send her off with near strangers while we just sit at home and trust. WE are responsible. I think that's the big thing I learned from my studies...God holds us accountable...not anyone else. And I take that very seriously.

That got me to thinking about the aforementioned very large national girl's club and what else they are going to be teaching my daughter. I looked into it before she joined (at the request of S) but didn't see anything to object to.

Guess I didn't look hard enough! I sat down a few nights ago and googled "Christian" and "name of club" and found lots of interesting articles. It seems a lot of Christians dropped out and even boycotted this organiztion after finding out some things they didn't like.

1. They had (have?) a partnership with Planned Parenthood.
2. God is optional.

The pledge that the girls say at the beginning of the meeting has the word God in it--with an asterik afterwards. It seems that the manual states girls can choose not to say the name God, or they can substitute a different word or name there. So, these parents questioned whether they wanted their girls wearing the badge/vest/pin of an organization that believes God is optional. It would be like giving their approval to that.

But OUR troop does say the name of God. They are mostly Christian. I haven't seen any of those problems in our troop, so what's the big deal? Are we really guilty by association?
I mean, I didn't sign her up thinking this was a Christian organization. We can't only be involved in Christian groups all the time, right? (There are alternatives, by the way). If we huddle together against the world--never interacting--that almost seems to lean toward being Amish in a way.

On the other hand...we are her protection, both physically and spiritually. As with homeschooling, I have to ask myself, "How can I protect her if she isn't with me?" How can I protect them if I am throwing them to the wolves in the name of "independence"?

How can I raise them to be godly if I am parenting just the way the world is?

And why do I have to make everything so difficult?


  1. Wow. I have started and restarted this comment several times, mainly because I have too much to say. First, I will be googling aforementioned girls' club after I finish here.

    Secondly, you are spot on here when you say: "But I'm not rushing to send her off with near strangers while we just sit at home and trust. WE are responsible. I think that's the big thing I learned from my studies...God holds us accountable...not anyone else. And I take that very seriously."

    Thirdly, why is independence touted in society as something GOOD and NECESSARY for children, girls, at even younger and younger ages? WHY?

    And, lastly, I always think way too much, and it always makes things more difficult in the short term. Thankfully, though, there is that reassurance we get when we follow God and not others (i.e. society.) Just consider us rebels for the Lord. :

  2. Good thoughts! Though I don't have any answers for you except: if your conscience is pricked- get out.

    I totally agree that the world expects kids to grow up too soon (just look at clothing lately) and the sooner the parents are out of the picture, the sooner they can influence them the way they want.

    Just a thought. Keep up the thinkin'.

  3. You present so much to consider here that I don't have a comment so much as a commendation for you, who are really reconsidering everything we've been told is true and/or harmless to our kids. Oh, and your thinking is a good thing. More peoples hould try it. Blessings to you, Brenda.

  4. Yeah, I understand. I started and restarted this post about 4 times. There was so much going around in my brain I couldn't get it all down!

    Thanks for the encouraging words.

  5. Brenda,
    It does make it hard to raise children in this world. I constantly feel the fight or current, so to speak.

    I am also a big thinker. While that is good, it sometimes drives me crazy.

    I have come to the conclusion that it is good and right to think about our decisions, but that in the end, we don't have total control--only the Lord does. I could drive myself crazy trying to control everything, but I am only human, not a god.
    I think when we let our thinking become anxiousness, then we are not trusting God.

    Anyway, not sure if that is even what you are talking about, but just some thoughts that came to mind.

    you are doing awesome, Brenda, keep thinking and doing things for the Lord....we *need* to encourage one another!!!

  6. You hit it on the head. First, I've struggled this week with my choice to homeschool and I can't tell you how many signs I've had that it was a good choice (your post included). I agree totally, there is no need for and eight year old to be independent of parents. What happens when they are sixteen and really need you but think they can handle it because they are independent? It's okay to need others. Good for you asking questions and not accepting the norm!

  7. You go, girl! I think it's obvious that you are NOT over-thinking in this area. :-) We've already got too many kids who are too dependent on their peers rather than their parents. That's what happens when our kids become "independent." And that's why we have mind-numbing magazines like Teen Beat and Mademoiselle.


  8. I think your natural man is striving against the spiritual you because this is not a neutral issue. And more pressing is that this non-neutral issue is surely an indication of more askew thinking that will visit your experience in the group, down the line.

    It gets harder to restrict children as they get older. It's always better to manage it so that they feel you loosening the reigns as they mature--not the other way around.

    Anytime people promote the idea of children being independent or even little missionaries to the lost around them (which isn't to say that God doesn't use them according to His good will), I am prompted to recall that even Jesus was silent in the Word until He was 12!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)