This is a portion of a letter I wrote to a dear friend as we were discussing how to protect our kids in this wicked world..
I just want to caution you from people that are so legalistic that they forget the
beauty of the mercy of God. That self righteousness turns our kids
away from the Lord more than non-christian friends, music, or really
anything else. We have to trust God with everything we have and
display His love and grace to our kids in tangible ways. The hyper
diligent parent who is always pointing out the evils of the world
instead of the beauty and majesty of the the Lord does severe damage.
I managed Katie's life so closely in jr. high and high school. I
guess I was afraid, afraid she would drink, have sex, turn away from
God, heck I don't really know all that I was afraid of. I managed the
music she listened to, the friends she had, where she went, you get
the picture. I was constantly criticizing her clothes, her friends and not
picking my battles wisely. Then she went away to college and I had an
apifiany..her days at WCA were not that bad, neither were her friends,
and neither was she! They were just normal, stupid, kid stuff! Of
course, some of it was scary and needed monitoring and my involvement
but alot of it was things she needed to ponder and wrestle with on her
own. Both Katie and Kelli said they did not feel prepared when they
went away to college. I believe now, they were just too sheltered.
My parenting has hopefully changed over the years-I was so protective of Katie and
kelli, trying to shield them from pain all through Jr. high and High
School. I realize now they needed those slips and stumbles to learn
and grow in their faith. I am reading a book right now By Dr. Tim
Kimmel, grace based parenting, it is full of godly insight. I realize now my
legalism hurt my kids deeply and Steve and I have had to repent of
that to both Katie and Kelli. We had the outer results we wanted,
they were both VERY moral, good kids in every way but their hearts
were far from the Lord. So, I ask myself what is the goal for my children?
I realize the answer now, That they love the Lord God with all their heart,
mind, and soul-not that they get straight A's, perform the best on the court,
or even stay moral..sometimes even good things lead us away from God and toward
our own pride!