Children Are a Reward
Over the past few years, God has really opened my eyes to something. He has shown me that I expected my children to bring me happiness just through being my children, loving me and being obedient.
Do you see the problem there? My expectations were all about ‘me’, my needs, my wants, my desires, my pride and something I did not understand and growing to understand more and more every day…. ‘children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”…but there’s still something missing….what’s missing is the fact that all of His gifts, His rewards…are for HIS glory.
And he calls us to be Full Time Parents.
This past summer, I took my time reading through Full-Time Parenting by Israel Wayne
Israel Wayne is now one of my favorite authors and speakers. When I first met him, I knew he had a message for parents, but did not think he could really relate to the average parent. Yet, this book, shares so much of his testimony, his mother, Skeet Savages‘ testimony and is an ultimate call to parenting that is desperately needed in today’s world!
Israel has hit the ball out of the park with this book. In Full-Time Parenting, Israel takes 20 short chapters and helps draw you to the heart of God in truly being the parent your children deserve…and the parent God calls you to be.
In this new-age psycho-babble world, Israel hits some heavy hitters like: Children Need Boundaries, Value your words,Train their hearts, not just their behavior, Have a Goal and Throw Yourself on the Mercy of God!
Those….are covered in just the first chapter.
Within the first chapter he makes some strong statements that truly need to be read by all parents:
- “Parenting is NOT about producing some kind of predictable Pavlovian or Skinnerian behavior from our children….Our desire is that we have our children’s hearts”
- He quotes Murray from Raising Your Children to Love Christ: ‘that as a parent you want to teach, train, disciple, correct, instruct, challenge, rebuke, encourage, praise and lead your child. You do absolutely everything you can to help this child know and love God.’
The Big Picture
Everything in life has to match up with my life’s purpose, or I am being inconsistent. pg 23
Within the content of chapter two, Israel hits something that is heavy on my heart. He identifies how many Christians lead their lives…like it’s a pie…where each and every portion of their life is separate and distinct, including their faith. What do I mean by this? I mean that Mon-Friday, they work….Saturday, they play and on Sunday…..then, they focus on God. That is NOT how we are supposed to live our lives. God created us…and gave us the command that we shall have no Gods before Him. If that is truly the case, God and Jesus will be a part of your entire being…not just parts, but every part because in the end, we are imperfect parents and we need the perfect parent to raise these beautiful gifts He has bestowed upon us!
Within the second chapter, Israel calls our Fathers to be the head of their homes. He places the responsibility of the family on the Father….this is not Israel’s idea…this is a Biblical call from the Lord.
He explains that “There are two duties that the Bible seems to lay nearly exclusively at the feet of the fathers: training and instruction of children (Prov 4:1) and discipline (Deuteronomy 8:5, Prov 13:1, 24, and 15:5 Ephesians 6:4, Hebrews 12).”
You may be asking yourself…..so, Rebecca, are you doing that? Are you disciplining your children…you are home with your children all day every day.
Well, let me say this…we have implemented a three strikes and you’re out process in our home that Israel shared in the book. It has worked very well in our home, but still gives me the ability to talk to my children’s hearts, while stepping aside and giving my husband the authority God has granted him in the Bible. This has made the burden on my shoulders so much lighter…and allows me the beauty of better days (and many nights) at home with my children. And…they see us living out the Biblical mandates we are reading and learning in the Bible, thus reducing the hypocrisy between what they read and how we live.
Are we perfect in our daily lives? NO – and we are thankful for God’s grace and mercy. We are also thankful that He covers our sins as we lay them at the cross and as He transforms us, while transforming our children!
I could literally write over 2,000 words about this book…but I can’t do that to you and I can’t do that to Israel.
What I will do is finish this by highlighting just a few more topics.
Family Culture Vs Pop Culture
I have to say…I LOVE THIS CHAPTER. Israel lays it out and makes this huge statement…
“I would say that the breakdown of the family culture in American began largely after the Civil war in 1865. Over 620,000 American men died…….” Israel goes on to explain that he industrial revolution also brought about changes…while it was not a war that caused fewer men to be at home, it was the ‘call of men to leave their homes at work – to work away from the home. With Dads out of the homes, that left Mom – raising the children. Women’s liberation took care of that.
“Women’s Liberation mainly “freed” women from their children and made them slaves to their jobs. It’s not merely a matter of men and women working a job outside of the home; it is the mindset shift from parents being responsible for the care and nurturing of their own offspring, to an expectation that the government is supposed to provide for all of our needs from the cradle to the grave, and we all work to support an overgorwn bureaucracy that seeks to do for us what we should be doing for ourselves.”
So, where does that leave single parents. Where does that leave the Mom or Dad who had a spouse walk out. Unfortunately, in our society, this is becoming a norm. If something doesn’t ‘feel good’ or if we ‘aren’t happy’…well, just leave. After all….our generation…the latch-key kids are doing ok…surely our kids will too, right? Um…NO! Look around Do you see where our nation is headed?
BUT….Israel does talk about this. He explains his own life, decisions his mother had to make…and how she was able to homeschool as a single parent. I have a lot of respect for Skeet Savage. Within in the book, she explains how she did this…and how she calls all single parents not to have a victim mentality, but to truly rest in God’s will.
Christian School vs. Homeschool
The option for us to send our children to a Christian school…..was never there. The cost to send our children out-weighed the cost of me not working and homeschooling. This chapter enlightened me to some things I never would have considered. Here is one paragraph from this chapter that really made me think:
As Christians, we should not forget that the modern-day classroom, with all it’s institutional, production-oriented trappings, was invented by Prussian and socialist educators who desired to get children out of their homes and into classrooms with peers their own age, for the purpose of disintegrating the influence of the family, segregating youth into peer groups, and indoctrinating a generation of young minds. pg 129
WOW…..I had to read that, read it again….and then, read it a third time.
And as I began to grasp what Israel Wayne was stating…I read this:
These socialist educators, like John Dewey and his friends at Teacher’s College, Columbia University in the 1930s, knew that simply removing children from the sheltered and supervised home, where they received constant oversight from their parents, would begin the deterioration of the family as a cultural force. Children would automatically switch their allegiance from the parents to the peer group, and thus the entire ‘herd’ could be controlled or directed (or at least they hoped).
The issue of socialization is next. Mr Wayne very poignantly identifies that fact that the Christian school is accepted by Christian parents because they believe that the teachers will a good foundation in Christ and will be able to impact the hearts of their children. However, because there is a hierarchy within a school of three teachers in any school: Teacher, Curriculum and Peer group….the peer group is going to be the ‘most powerful influence of the three’.
Now, we are in a generation of parents who were raised in public/Christian schools without discipleship. And that’s where the beauty of homeschool is truly shown to me. Homeschool is an oppourtunity to save not just one generation, but two – the parent and the child…..and then, the blessings of the generations to follow.
Homeschooling is hard….and this is why,because it truly brings out the sin of the parent, especially as parents truly understand that “the goal of an education from a Biblical worldview is discipleship: “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40 NIV) (pg 130)
It is beautiful and it covers all sins. Once we sit and submit, request His will to be ours…no matter how badly we mess up, HIS grace will overcome all!
Israel Wayne covers God’s grace beautifully at the end of the book. He shares his own family’s testimony…and how imperfect families, situations and people….are all covered by God’s grace when they sit at His feet, allow Him to change their hearts and direct their paths!
In the end, Israel Wayne did not have the easy life I assumed he had. He has grown deep in the word of God. His words hit hard…and have pushed me…to be a better wife and mother. To spend less time online and most of my time off line…being my husband’s helper and my children’s mother. Not because it’s easy, but because it is the place God has me…He has blessed me with three children. While many may be called to leave their home and let others teach and raise their children…there is no judgement here.
I do see the beauty though, in taking this responsibility and being the one to be there at all times for my children.
One day, they will leave our home….and I want them to know that we love(d) them so much….we made this choice and would make it all over again. We also want to lead by example…to show them God’s word, not just read it or preach it. We want them to see our walk and our imperfection…so we can share…what Israel shares in the last part of his book….
That is beautiful!
By no means have I covered this book. It is one that will remain close to my hands…that I will review every month…to help me stay on the path God has laid for me.
disclosure: I received a free copy of Full-Time Parenting in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation has been or will be received.Please note, this post contains affiliate links. See disclosure for full information