As a single parent, I wear many hats. I’m mom and dad, in a lot of ways, though my children’s father is as involved as he wants to be. I’m raising my children mostly on my own. I’m also their teacher, given that I’ve chosen to homeschool. Though even if they were in school, I’d still be their teacher. I’m the nanny, maid, cook and chief bottle-washer. I’m the taxi, the coach, the drill sergeant when necessary.
I endeavor to instill in my children a love of learning, a respect for others, and an ethic of hard work and self-control. In part, my faith shapes some of what and why I do what I do. It is part of my identity, and I hope will be part of my children’s identities too.
In business, I focus on planning, setting goals and doing what it takes to achieve them. In housekeeping and homeschooling … well, not much gets done without a plan and a schedule. My faith tells me my life has a purpose. There’s a plan for all of this, even if I don’t always understand. So it follows that parenting, raising a family, should be done with a goal in mind as well.
What is the goal of parenting?
The dictionary defines parenting as the raising or rearing of children. Except .. I don’t know that “children” is my end goal. I’m not sure I want to raise children. At least, that’s not what I want to end up with when I’m done this work of parenting. I want to raise adults. When the active work of parenting is finished, and my children have at least physically matured into adults, I want them to have mentally, emotionally and spiritually matured as well.
Words are powerful
This may be purely a matter of semantics. But words are more powerful than we tend to realize. I believe that words brought the world into existence, and my faith teaches that the tongue has the power of life and death. So when I say I’m raising children.. I may be doing damage to my goals here.
I don’t want to say I’m raising children. At least, that shouldn’t be where the period is in my sentence. I’m raising my children to be responsible, educated adults able to make decisions and be independent and think for themselves. I hope that they will be women of faith and grace, who value choices. And I hope they will be strong enough to admit when they need help.
Raising the next generation
I’m not raising children. I’m raising the next generation of citizens. Their choices will shape not only the communities around them but whose talents and gifts will show God’s love and mercy and grace to the world. Their skills and hearts and hands will demonstrate the power of God to change the world. I’m raising royalty, princesses who will know their worth and not be willing to settle for less. They will grow into queens, ready to lead, and shine, and rule, wherever they are in life.
They won’t stay children
I believe that God has a plan for me, and part of that plan includes these children. They may be children now, but they will not stay children. They will grow physically and mature into biologically adult members of society. It is my job to make sure that as their bodies grow, their minds and hearts also grow into maturity. It’s my responsibility as their parent to teach them to act the adults they will appear to be.
God has a plan for each of these children, but it does not include them staying children.
I’m not raising children.
They may be children now, but they won’t stay this way. Because I’m not raising merely children. I’m raising the world-changers, the life-givers of our future.