I’d tried to help, really I had. I had explained the situation to the best of my ability, tried to help him understand the circumstances, and even gone so far as to instruct him in how he should have responded. Unfortunately, no matter what I said or did, my son was a bundle of frustration. Then, it occurred to me. There was nothing I could do to reach him, this was a situation only God could handle.
It took me a long time to finally understand this concept. After all, I am the parent, right? I’m supposed to have the answers; I’m supposed to be able to manage my kids. Shouldn’t I know how to reach my child and help them turn their behavior and attitudes around? Was this some kind of lack in me?
What a failed to take into account was two things. One, these children, like myself, have free will. I can lead them to the truth, but I cannot force it upon them. They have to choose for themselves the right and good. Second, these are not just my children, they are God’s children and He understand them better than I ever could.
No matter how good a job I think I am doing, or trying to do, I am only human. My knowledge and experience only extends so far. Instead of drilling into my children’s heads what they are supposed to be doing and trying to force a change upon their attitudes, my best option is to do what is truly right… leave it at the feet of Christ.
While my children’s hearts, for that moment, might be unreachable to me, they are never unreachable to Christ. Where I am unable, God is able. Where I am weak, He is strong. Why would I continue to trust in my own strength and wisdom, when I could rely on God to do the work in my child’s heart?
Does this mean I never attempt to correct their behavior? Of course not! We instruct, train when needed, and disciple them as any parent should. However, we have our limits. In the midst of the chaos, hurt, and anger, we lift our children before the Lord, praying He will touch their hearts and help them see the truth of the situation. We also pray He would give us wisdom in how to best reach them and restore the broken bond. If we have done all we can and still our children seem unreachable, we continue to pray the Lord would be doing a work in them, leading them back to a right relationship with Himself.
This is the heart of what we do, really. Yes; we teach our children as homeschooling parents. We instruct them, raise them, and help them become the adults they need to become. But, the heart of all we do is this: to bring them into a right relationship with Christ. If, at the end of day, we have done everything else and somehow missed this point, what we’ve accomplished is meaningless.
“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” – Mark 8:36
May this encourage each of us. When we our children’s hearts seem unreachable to us, they are never out of God’s reach.
Time to Chime In: Is there a special prayer you say over your children when they are frustrated? Please share it with us and encourage other homeschooling families who struggle with reaching their children’s hearts.