Sometime last month I heard a person say "you reap what you sow".
Yes, I believe a person does reap what he sows- it is biblical after all. However, there was a certain context to this message that got me to thinking. The context was, at best, unnerving. I noticed a lot of people looking guilty about the message being conveyed and I had to do some research to find out what I really believe about this topic.
I surprised myself immensely and I am sure if you are a parent of children either in your household or in their own as adults, you will be glad to hear what I am about to say.
Its not all your fault. You are not the only influence on your children. You are not responsible for their decisions once they are adults and leave to build a life of their own.
There I said it.
Now I will explain. In Galatians 6, the entire chapter deals with this topic. Reaping and sowing and being responsible for your own actions. Your own actions.
When my children were born, they had consistent time with other influences in their lives. Relatives, television, social media and more. There were people from church, school and the community. There were so many people from so many walks of life I don't think I could even make an accurate list. Lets just say they had a lot of influence aside from their father and I, and it wasn't all Christian, and it wasn't all Godly. Some of those people are really great people. They have jobs, they pay their bills, they are decent members of society. Some struggle, but are still awesome people- very few were the kind of people you would actually keep your family from.
Hubby and I do not claim to be perfect either. We have made our share of parenting mistakes. We actually used to call our oldest son our experimental child- we didn't have a clue what we were doing as parents and they don't exactly come out of the womb with an instruction manual in their little hand.
The best advice we had was what we witnessed from older parents, and parents of older children. There were a lot of things we knew we would never do as parents. But filtering through the list of decisions to make every day was at times overwhelming, and as young Christians we did our best. I will admit, the Christian mentors for us were few and far between. We had our bibles and each other. There were no people our age with kids and marriage around us at that time. It was not easy. But we loved them and each other, and with a whole lot of prayer and a lot more chaos we came out the other side.
*Insert soapbox statement-
In all the years of parenting I have learned that if you wait for someone to mentor you , one day you will be marrying off your first and second born in the same fall and not even know what hit you until your house is half empty and for the first time you have a spare bedroom. Mentor a young parent if you can. don't tell them how to do it- show them.
Back to this reaping and sowing.
I am the first to admit my mistakes, because why wait for someone else to point them out? So as I sat listening to this lecture ( as I interpreted it) I was just stunned. I was almost blaming myself for my children's adult choices. That's it, I have proven to myself that everything is my fault. After all, that is what i was being told.
The reason my son, his wife and child aren't at church is because.....I didn't teach them it was important. Every Sunday. From the time he was born. He never knew it was important. Or who God was. Or who Jesus is. Or that his father and I love him unconditionally like our father in heaven loves us. Or that we disagree with certain things he does as an adult that we feel are sins. Because I don't tell him......
OK Wait just a minute.
Every Sunday since he was born.
Who God Is.
Who Jesus is.
That we love him.
Leading and guiding him still.
Loving him and now his wife and children unconditionally.
We did everything the way we believed was biblical and he still makes his own choice. Its called FREE WILL. Its a "provision" God allows to his children.
Its not all my fault.
There were other influences.
Praise the Lord.
As a side note i will say, if it were my decision all of my children would be worshiping somewhere every chance they got. I understand , however, that our adult children spend some time doing what they want to do because they never have before. I lean on the scripture from
Proverbs 22:6...Train a child in the way he would go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
God made provisions for me to learn from my mistakes- my sin- when I was a younger person. I didn't do it all right, but I have been forgiven for all of those mistakes I made as a young adult. My faith and my reading tell me our God will do the same for my children and I must depend on his plan for them. I know my children are my responsibility until they are adults. But to say that I have "reaped what I have sown" in them as their only life influence is too bold a statement for anyone to make.
Your children are a gift from God and He has a plan. You're the best influence for them- but unfortunately not the only one. Prayer and striving for a better spiritual life in an open way are the best way to be a great and Godly influence in your child's life at any age. Gods redemption is for everyone, and it is never too late.
Praying for those who's homes are made of glass as the rocks fling around and around. We are all sinners. Lets come together as repentant and humble servants.