Thursday, November 8, 2012

Influencing Our Children

Often I hear parents state that they don't force their children to attend church or discuss politics with them because they don't want to influence them; they want their children to make their own decisions, thus becoming stronger individuals.  This either makes me want to weep or laugh or both at once.

When Shannon and I married we made the decision to be open to the lives God may send us in the future, thus making the decision to pass along our genetics to future human beings.  Why would we not want to pass on our faith as well; our genetics and our beliefs are both part of our very being.  Are we seriously going to tell our children that we love them, but we aren't going to share what we believe with them?

As I listened to several deep discussions that my children were having Tuesday I was proud!  Maybe not when Dominic stated that he should put a certain political leader on a donkey and a rocket and send him to the moon, but generally it was good.  Joshie and Eric prayed for the elections while doing the dishes and Michaela and Katherine were caught praying for wisdom for all Americans, although they should have been doing their schoolwork.  It made me believe in a brighter future, at least for the moment!

The evening brought great disappointment, and even a bit of fear to our household.  I know we cannot place our hope in any political leader, that is why this country is where it's at.  We were hoping for a moral president that we could respect versus an administration we continually need to oppose so that our rights don't disappear in a poof of hot air.  And our children knew this.  They knew why we were sad. They knew that their future depended greatly on this election.  They knew our hopes, and that our convictions aren't based on some selfish desire, but a   yearning for a good, Godly country for them to live and thrive in.

Do we sit our children down and lecture them on our Founding Father's morals, what we believe, drilling it into their heads continually?  No, it is incorporated into our daily lives:  when we pray in front of an abortion clinic, when a friend has chosen an alternate lifestyle, when family members make rather immoral choices, when an acquaintance is suffering from a terminal illness and society would encourage them to "Die with Dignity," .  Each is an opportunity to form our children.  Then, when a political decision is to be made, they know the right choice, that there are varying degrees of importance on issues.  I do not want to send my children off to college for them to be influenced by a Planned Parenthood volunteer, encouraging them to have compassion for women, in the wrong sense of the word.

Yesterday morning found me curled up, depressed, in bed.  Shannon drug me out, "Get up, skip school, go to the pool, the park, order pizza for dinner, and remind yourself that we still live in a free country!"

So I did.

I dressed all the kiddos in red, my political statement, and headed to town.  We had a picnic in the park, swam at the pool and ordered Papa Murphy's.  When the girls asked to stay at the gym longer than I had planned to play basketball with their cousin my answer had to be, "Yes."  After all, we were celebrating FREEDOM, albeit with a heavy heart.

We will continue to influence our children, hopefully producing seven adults that can change the world they live in for the better.

Nothing feels as free as swinging as high as you can ~

Or running away from your brothers ~

Or climbing as high as you can ~

Or sneaking lunch before anyone else ~

Or eating cookies first ~

Or having a picnic when you are supposed to be at school ~

Or hiding in the slide from Mom ~

Did I mention it still tickles one's stomach ~

Ahhhh, we've played enough for one day!

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