Keep it Between the Lines

When I was learning to drive, my dad was my main instructor.  Every now and then, my mom would drive with me, and her method of teaching driving skills was very different than my dad’s method.  The end results, though, were the same: keep it between the lines.  So it is with rearing children.  We need to train them in God’s way, but give them a little freedom to still be an individual.

            This is an area with which I struggle tremendously.  I am tempted to micro-manage my children’s time, actions, and activities as if I perhaps could keep them from going astray if I know exactly what they are doing.  However, if I never give them a chance as children to make a mistake and correct it, then I am not preparing them for real life.  I will not always be there to remind them of the right action or response to a situation; that’s where their training will take over.

            I don’t really want my children to each be a “mini me”!  They have amazing talents and personality traits that can develop into tremendous tools for God’s use.  If I so strictly control them that they are not an individual, then I am not allowing them to be who God created them to be.

            Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6.  Train them according to the Bible, then trust God to lead them.  Let them develop a clothing style as long as it is modest.  Let them try hobbies you might not choose but they enjoy.  Allow them to choose the Godly music that they enjoy, not just what you enjoy.  All in all, your household will be happier; and your children will be more likely to develop a lasting relationship with Christ if you give them boundaries instead of expect them to duplicate you.