Instilling Desire ~ Random Thoughts on Raising Children in Today's Crazy World

Raising children is by no means an easy task. I think every day about the burden I bear on my shoulders as a mom, a homeschooler and a friend. And I am in no way a perfect mom, raising perfect children. I've looked at my past, my childhood and the way I've turned out and I'm thankful for most of the decisions I've made in life. But there is one thing I hope to make sure and instill in my children and that is their own desire. Desire to make good decisions, to live pure lives, to love and think about others before themselves, to give, to learn, to do their best, to enjoy life and most of all, to love God.

See, I don't believe in strict rules, in limiting regulations or in sheltering. I don't believe that keeping your children from worldly influences is going to in turn keep them from sin. And I don't believe that parenting by the "textbook" will produce "x" type of children. This is the problem with those measures, sin is a heart issue. It's not a pornographic website, it's not drugs, alcohol abuse or seductive clothing - these are simply the results. Sin can't be cured by long skirts, no television, or by not kissing before your wedding day. Believe me, I've seen the best little homeschooled kids turn into hellions for adults. I've seen the most perfect, courtship-led marriages turn into divorce and I've seen what appeared to be the most Godly raised children turn away from God completely.

Why? 

Because our obsession in keeping our children from the bad has to change to filling our children with good desire. Rules and regulations don't work. Rules and regulations don't make you wake up and decide to love your spouse when marriage is hard. Rules and regulations aren't there when your teenage child is being pressured into trying drugs. Rules and regulations aren't going to help when your child comes across a seductive website. Rules and regulations won't change a man or woman who wants to have an affair. Sheltering your children forever is unattainable and strict restrictive measures don't work when you're not there to enforce them. We need a heart change and rules can't do that.

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Am I saying we shouldn't monitor what our kids watch on tv or put in safety measures to keep inappropriate contents off our computers? Am I saying that we should have rules and guidelines in our homes to teach our children respect and obedience? Absolutely not. What I am saying is that rules are only a means to an end. Rules will not last forever. Our kids are going to grow up and if we haven't taught, instilled, and guided the DESIRE to be better people in our children then we have done nothing for them but create a list of no-no's.

We need to change our children's hearts, not their rulebook. It's easy to make rules, to set restrictions and limit interaction, and in some ways it may seem right. But is it the best way?  Shouldn't we be molding their hearts instead of controlling their actions? Shouldn't we be teaching them why instead of "because I said so"? Shouldn't we be answering the tough questions even when it makes us uncomfortable? Shouldn't we be instilling the good desires instead of keeping them from all the bad? 


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