Non-Conforming Parenting

Educating the WholeHearted Child: Chapter 9

WholeHeartedAt first glance, this chapter on “The WholeHearted Learning Youth” isn’t exactly applicable to our family right now (since our oldest is only 6).  It provided a lot of food for thought about how I want to approach the years ahead, but much of it was just wisdom to file away for later.

One thing that stood out to me, however, was the issue of conforming to the world’s ways, not just culturally, but also educationally.  Am I making decisions based on what the world says my children’s education should look like, or am I allow God to be our guide?  My “Word for 2014,” PRAY, has helped me develop a habit of turning to the Lord for things I have previously just managed on my own.  The Clarksons reminded me that I also need to be seeking the transforming of my mind through the Scriptures.  In their discussion of Romans 12:1-2 they write:

“…Go to God’s Word to keep your mind renewed by truth.  The real power of God’s Word is not just that it’s true and trustworthy, but that it transforms–it is the ‘living and active’ Word that penetrates and changes ‘soul and spirit’ and ‘thoughts and attitudes’ (Hebrews 4:12).  The only way to know you are doing God’s will as a parent is to constantly renew your mind with God’s truth.  You become a conformist to the world’s ways of thinking by default; you become a biblical idealist only by design” (page 172, emphasis mine).

In my current season of life it is hard to find time to spend in the Word, at least to the extent that I have in the past.  I find myself grabbing snatches here and there: a few paragraphs from the open Bible I leave on the bathroom counter when I manage to catch a few uninterrupted moments, verses taped above my kitchen sink that I can meditate on as I do dishes, and maybe a few chapters during naptime when I’m feeling particularly starved (provided all four children actually stay in their beds for an extended period of time).  Yet I must cling to those scraps of Scripture if I have any hope of being the godly parent I want to be.

My children will only be young for so long.  I want to use these years as effectively as possible, both as far as training and instructing my children “in the words and ways of biblical Christianity” (page 174), and renewing my own mind with God’s truth.

Each Mentoring Monday I share my reflections on what I’ve been learning from my “paper mentors.”  I am currently joining in a book discussion of Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay Clarkson (with Sally Clarkson), so my Monday posts are all being sparked by things I’m reading in this fabulous book!