By Betty Williams
As home school moms, we are “fixers,” aren’t we? If something isn’t going right for one of our kids, we want to fix it. We speed up or slow down their school schedule, modify their diet, ply them with Vitamin D, rub essential oils on them, or, if all else fails, purchase different curriculum. These can all be good things for them, but sometimes we try to fix things that aren’t ours to fix.
The Lord has impressed upon me recently to look at the biblical example of Mary and what we can learn about what to NOT try and fix. Now, none of us has birthed the Son of God and none of our kids comes close to being the Savior of the world, but we can absorb wisdom on rearing children by reading what Mary did not do. She did not try to fix situations in her son’s life that weren’t hers to fix.
Can you imagine her saying to Jesus, “What?! Those people asked you to leave their town after their herd of pigs ran off the cliff? What village were they from? I think I know someone there and I’ll say something.” Or picture Mary flying off the handle with something like, “The Pharisees said THAT to you? They can’t talk to you like that! Did you defend yourself? I’m going to the Temple tomorrow to complain.” What if she had said, “Oh honey, don’t carry that cross. It’s too heavy. Let me do that.” Mary knew not to get in the way of God doing a work in and through Jesus.
God is doing a work in your children’s lives and my children’s lives, and sometimes that work is done through uncomfortable circumstances, painful consequences, heartbreaking disappointments, and messy situations, as I have been reminded of this past school year. So, who am I to try and fix those? Why do I think those things need to be fixed? Could I be hindering God’s work when I try to fix things?
Habukkuk complains to the Lord, saying “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear?” (Hab 1:2) and the Lord answers him with, “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” (Hab 1:5) You know how troubles drive us to seek the Lord? And how our relationship with Him deepens and grows because of trials? Don’t you think that same pattern needs to happen with our kids and their relationship with the Lord? Stop getting in God’s way.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m NOT saying we should not comfort, protect, and encourage our kids. However, I am saying that I have been convicted lately to let my kids experience the natural consequences of their disobedience, their bad choices, and their sin. If that means they wind up with a grade of C in their co-op class because they didn’t study enough, so be it. If that means they get cut from the travel ball team because they aren’t that great a player and are disrespectful to the coach, so be it. If that means they don’t get to go to the Winter Formal (even though the tickets have already been purchased) because they failed to complete their chores and help around the house for weeks, so be it. Let’s not fix that.
I want them to cry out to the Lord like David does. “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” (Psalm 51:1-2) In Revelation 3:19, God tells the church in Laodicea, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” My kids won’t feel the need to cry out to God if I continue to fix things in their life that are not mine to fix. So, join me in holding fast to the verse that promises us and our kids, “…that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil 1:6)