Raising Daniel kids

I remember sitting in one of my Christian education classes in college and the professor asking a very controversial question–whether we as teachers were supposed to expose our kids to the “things of the world” or to shield them from it.

I’m thankful we were to WRITE a response to this question rather than have a verbal debate about it. I needed time to think on this one and do some research.

I ended up in the book of Daniel. Daniel was hand-picked to be in the king’s very highly esteemed education program. He was being trained and groomed for greatness. Yet he was a Christian. A strong one. And part of his training and education went against God’s law.

Despite being a Christian, Daniel was exemplary. And he was highly successful in his very public government position. He knew all about everything. He lived and worked for and with people who worshiped idols–I don’t think you can get any more secular than that! Yet he chose not to live the same way others were living and even asked to be excused from activities that went against his religion. And because he was respected, his requests were granted.

This translates to me as both a teacher and especially now as a mom in that I desire for kids to be well-informed, educated, aware of  the world around them, yet so rooted in their faith in God that they choose to honor him no matter what everyone else is saying or doing.

Don’t hear me wrong. I’m not saying “this is THE one and only way to raise kids”, I’m simply sharing my version of what I believe is how I am supposed to train up the kids I’ve been entrusted with in the way they are supposed to go. (Proverbs 22:6)

So while I’m not wild about some of the things my kids hear at school, on the bus, playground, soccer field or around the neighborhood I’m thankful that they don’t choose to repeat the words they hear. They are living differently. In the world, but not of the world.

And they’re being noticed. I stood in my kitchen and sobbed as I opened a letter from my son’s principal inviting us to a ceremony where he would be receiving an award for having exemplary character, citizenship, and for academic achievement. This came literally the day AFTER I had written my son a letter in regards to a deep disappointment he had caused us.

Over and over we are affirmed that how we are raising our kids is on point. I just pray that as we continue this parenting journey, we can remain faithful to the fact that the Bible always has the answer to any parenting scenario we stumble across, open to the fact that we still have much to learn, and intentional about the importance of surrounding ourselves with like-minded people who will share the wisdom they’ve gained in their own child-rearing experiences. And last but not least, the importance and power of prayer for these someday-grownups!

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6 thoughts on “Raising Daniel kids”

  1. amen! and amen! and amen again! thanks for sharing, on a personal level, the convictions you have and how that translates to intentional and active parenting. you and dan are a rock-solid team… keep on keeping on!

    1. Thanks Sarah–it was a little easier when they were smaller and we were in “survival” mode. Now that they are getting older, we are feeling like the stakes are getting higher and higher and we are seeing how quickly things fall to pieces when we sit back and just let things go…it takes having a strategy, plan, communication and consistency and a whole lotta praying to mess up our kids as little as possible. There are days I am just overwhelmed with thoughts about things looming on the horizon like middle school, having drivers, and first jobs. I want to KNOW that my kids are prepared for real life that is zooming at them faster than the speed of light.

  2. On my end, this thinking was still theory- thank you for affirming our convictions that this is Biblical and applicatble to this society and generation…that God’s Way ‘still works’…that we don’t need to fear the prospect of parenting little Walcks, lol! Hugs to you for this one.

    1. You’re welcome! I felt the same way about this “theory”–thought we were doing the right thing but didn’t really have a chapter and verse to back it up. It definitely puts more onus on Dan and I as parents for Biblically educating our children since they aren’t getting Bible class or Biblical integration in/at school on a daily basis. I’m ok with being their Bible teacher 😉

  3. But even for those of us who do send our kids to Christian schools, the parenting and bible teaching still needs to be there. Because there are still families and children in Christian schools who do not behave as God would desire. So our kids are exposed in that environment too. It’s challenging. As our kids have gotten older I have folded on some things that may seem “of the world” and regretted it…but only because it is SO HARD to teach over and over again how it is of the world and I have grown tired of the reminders, I feel like a broken record sometimes. I try to turn everything into a lesson. I am often accused of sheltering my kids and raising them in a bubble, being “too Intense” as a parent or whatever someone has to say. For some reason David doesn’t get that feedback…I’m the “crazy” one. But, I also have the gift of not caring 🙂 So I keep on doing what I’m doing…sheltering, training, teaching, shielding…whatever the term, because I think it’s what I’m being called to do too. I like seeing that other parents are doing the same. It doesn’t seem so lonely! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, Lu, yes! Both my hubs and I attended and taught at Christian schools–all the same “stuff” was there too. We are the “we don’t watch TV” family (only DVD’s from the library), and my kids have to tell their friends they don’t have their own computers, ipods etc…balance that with a spouse that absolutely LOVES pop culture and me who is a Fbook & iPhone junkie we’re a mess of mixed up signals for all to see. I’m finding myself getting more and more conservative as the kids get older, but they’re so way too important to give up and let everything there is “out there” to roll in and sweep them under. It IS our job as parents to be the gatekeepers of what comes into our home. (2 Tim 3) And I’m not so happy with some of the things I’ve relented on and let slide in either. But I’m also not afraid to sit down and say, “I think I made a mistake, I’m sorry, and because I want for us to live differently and honor God we are going/no longer to _________.” I am SO GLAD we are not the only ones. I’m super sad for the people in MI we moved away from because it was so much easier parenting alongside of like-minded families. I’m not finding the “like us” families here quite as quickly or easily as I had hoped.

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