Thursday, August 7, 2008
Sometimes child rearing reminds me of the sculpting of a bouquet. Putting together just the right pieces that complement each other, keeping the color alive, attention to detail, having the finished product in mind, and enjoying the process. I don't claim any skill at assembling flower arrangements, but I have learned a thing or two about kids along the way. I also know that things don't always turn out the way we had envisioned. Somehow we think if we have all the right tools, equipment, instructions, and vision, we will have smooth sailing and a finished product worthy of display. Maybe that works with flowers . . . Children are another story.
Last night as I continued my reading through the Charlotte Mason series, I contemplated the instilling of habits in our children and challenged myself with the thought of finding the most Biblical teaching model. Should I look to God's dealings in the garden of Eden? His interactions with the nation of Israel? Jesus' tutelage of his disciples? Classical, Charlotte Mason, Unit studies, delight directed? If I just choose the right model, I will guarantee the desired outcome, right?
Each Scriptural model that came to mind involved the perfect, holy God as the instructor and finite humans as the "student." In each model, the students made mistakes, fell away, grumbled, acted selfishly, and showed both measures of failure and of success. Reminder: A perfect teacher does not a perfect student make!
Think of Peter. How many of his choices and behaviors would we consider failures when compiling our report card? And yet, in the end he matured into a passionate, dedicated follower of his risen Lord. He willingly sacrificed all he had, his life included, to follow Christ and to persuade others to do the same. To have that fire burning in my children as it did in his life would be a great blessing to me as a mother.
In the process, we will see success at times, and we will also see clueless questions, flat-out failures, distractions, and dead-end rabbit trails but that does not necessarily shape the final product. Even all of that can result in a life that is a pleasing aroma, a beautiful bouquet to present to our Lord. I pray that despite the setbacks I may see at times, that each of my children will in the end show their lives to be obedient and truly sold-out to Him alone. Wilted, haphazard composition and all.