Last Fall I had one of my older daughters say she felt like she grew up under a rock. I was not offended at all, but it gave me some food for thought. Alot of things ran through my mind. “What does she mean by that?” “Is she unhappy with her life?”
I told her that under God, my husband and I prayed for guidance as we raised our children (and still do). I rest in the truth of His sovereign plan for His children. We come before His throne daily to ask for help and direction.
Then, I started thinking, growing up under a rock isn’t so bad, really. Years ago when my son still lived home, he would go outside with his youngest sister and together they would look under rocks. To them, there was a treasure trove of life wiggling around under most rocks. There were worms, and pillow bugs (curly bugs), moisture, and many other living things under the rocks. So much so, they would sometimes run in the house and tell us of all the wonderful things under the rocks!
As we go through life and raise children, we offer them shelter, food, water, protection, provision, prayer, guidance. We purpose to shield our children from many of the external influences that can creep in. Much of that protection is intentional. In a Christ-centered home, we take time to instruct in the ways of God, read Scripture, memorize passages/verses, pray together. Many seeds of truth are planted and watered. We gradually let go of our children and allow them to make more and more of their decisions. With God’s help, much fruit results.
Under the solid Rock of Christ, much growth occurs.
Just in case one of your children tells you, “I grew up under a rock,” simply sigh and give Him thanks for the guidance and blessing He has given. After all, there’s lots of life under rocks, usually.
Yes, our home is a flurry of activity as we prepare for another child to be married – this time, a daughter. Being a traditional family, we are putting on the event, and with great joy! We are preparing to release our daughter, in a sense, giving the responsibility of protection and provision to her beloved.
So what advice would I give to a family with lots of children, especially several daughters? Since some have asked, I would say to begin the conversation now, between husband and wife, regarding courtship (what is it?), budget, expectations and more. Some have lumped dating and courtship together. But the big difference is that a man and a woman in a courtship are heading towards marriage. Dating, however, seems to imply a lack of commitment. Yes, some who “date around” end up marrying that one, but dating around can leave great wounds.
Why talk about the budget when your children are young or teens? Because this is a big issue. We know folks who have gone into debt to put on their child’s wedding. We know folks who spent $40,000 on the wedding only to be divorced a couple years later. A wedding is a wonderful celebration, but it can be lovely and memorable even on a modest budget. So, set a budget now, while you are thinking clearly, and when the time comes, make every effort to stick to it. Pray, be creative, do some research.
In our case, our daughter wanted lots of guests, 100’s in fact. So, the sit down dinner option was nixed. But we will have delicious food for the guests: fruits, vegeys, crackers, cheeses, shrimp, desserts, hors de voures, etc. The setting is our home church for the ceremony and reception. Since children are very important to the bride to be the wedding party includes 2 ring bearers and 4 flower girls, in addition to 7 bridesmaids and 7 groomsmen, ushers, musicians, and 2 ministers presiding.
This is also a time to let go……….to realize that the couple is establishing a new home. It’s time to say, “I’ve raised you and love you and will continue to love you. But if you want advice from now on, you will need to come to me and ask.” That can be a very hard thing to grasp for a parent, especially a controlling parent. But do you really want to treat your 20 something child like he/she still has a diaper on? Cut the apron strings, in fact, start to loosen them little by little as the years roll on from ages, let’s say 1 , until the late teens.
Rejoice with us at this time!!
Proverbs 13:18 says, “Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.”
“The instruction of discipline is God’s ordinance. Little do those who refuse it know, what a blessing they cast away! (Hebrews 12:10,11) Poverty and shame are often the Lord’s rod for his wayward children (Luke 15:12-16); two dreaded evils— the one bringing them to want; the other hiding their heads; both disappointing “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.” (1 John 2:16) Young persons! learn to dread the liberty of being left to your own choice. Dread the first step in the downward course, refusing instruction…Know your besetting temptation, ‘as the horse and the mule’ (Ps. 32:9), impatient of restraint. If godly remonstrance be slighted, all may end in poverty and shame, embittered with the poignant sting of death-bed remorse. (chap. 5:11)…If we be humbled under his reproof, we shall be raised to his throne. (1Pt. 5:6) Pleasant indeed are his words to his well-disciplined child. To have our ears open to receive discipline, is to walk in the path of life and happiness (chap. 6:23. Job 36:10-12); the honour of conformity to our Divine Saviour.”