Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble…
Oh, how I need to remind myself of these words at this season of life! The ceaseless, 24/7 parenting of a home school family can, at times, be emotionally exhausting during the teen and tween years. For one thing, it can be difficult to remember not to take the things they say and do personally, especially when many of the words and actions seem so personal.
This morning, I was reminded of a section in the book, For Parents Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. In her book, she lays out the results of extensive research she has conducted about what is going on in the minds of the young men and women who have, quite suddenly, replaced the little boys and little girls in our families (or will one day soon for those of you who are still surrounded by little ones).
In one chapter, Mrs. Feldhahn writes about the somewhat harrowing process that our young people go through as they grow, a time when each child reaches a point where they take a hard look at the values we, as parents, have worked so hard to pass on to them. No matter what, there will come a time where the child will examine every single principle we have instilled with a critical eye, mulling over all they know of this world and wondering to themselves, “This is a part of who my parents are, but is it a part of who I am?”
Maybe it’s just me, or maybe this process seems especially painful for the homeschool mom who has devoted the bulk of her adult life, not to career building nor personal satisfaction, but to investing most of her waking hours to teaching, training, and hopefully discipling her children in Christ. Each examination of my values feels very personal; each apparent rejection seems to be evidence of a cataclysmic failure to do the job even reasonably well.
However, my hope is ultimately not in my children nor their choices, but in my Lord and His word. I admit that do not always feel great peace, and in my actions and attitudes I do stumble, yet He is greater than it all. Though my faith may ebb at times, the core of my trust in God does not actually stumble. I still know that He is good, that His faithfulness is great and His mercy never ceases.
When I am tempted to despair, it is love for Him and His Word that keeps me from sinking. Even when I do not see how, I know in the very core of my being that He can bring revival to the coldest and darkest of hearts. When I look at my own little brood, I see a mirror of all my deficiencies and mistakes, yet I also see that their hearts are nowhere near as dark nor as cold as mine was at their age.
And so I do love His law. Perhaps especially in this emotionally draining season.of parenting, I love the law of God and I need it like oxygen. I have to remind myself that they, too, must experience Him personally, so I will pray diligently for them, giving my all to whatever He gives my hand to do, and trusting Him for the results.
The prophet Isaiah wrote, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:3-4). Indeed.
God, You are my Rock. Thank You that You have chosen to reveal Yourself to we who are the work of Your hands. Teach our hearts to love Your law, teach our children’s hearts to love it, and let nothing make us stumble. Please, O Lord, in Your goodness, grant us the great peace of a steadfast and unshakable commitment to You.