EQUIPPING OUR CHILDREN FOR BATTLE
While in university, I had a good friend. We gisted a lot, and we hardly spoke English while at it. Our flows are typically in Pidgin English. We got acquainted with another lady who attended the same church and school as us at some point. The thing that made her notice us was the pidgin English we spoke while gisting. She asked us to teach her as she was not fluent because the mom would not let her speak the vernacular. Her attempts to learn and speak it were hilarious. We eventually begged her to leave us alone so her mum would not think that we spoilt her daughter or that she was keeping bad company. Pidgin English was foreign to her. Now that I have your attention, let’s get into the real subject of this post.
Our children and we are strangers, pilgrims in this world. However, this does not mean we should be ignorant of events and happenings around us. We are IN the world but not OF the world, and so are our children. Imagine Mary hiding Jesus from the darkness prevalent in His days; how would He have known where and when to shine His light? Sometimes, fear makes parents, especially mothers, hide their children from the realities of life. Remember I said “hide them”, not “teach them”. These are two different things. Realities like sex, music genres, friends, enemies, to name a few, are things children need to learn about at home. Parents should be their first source of truth in these matters. There is no guarantee that a stranger will teach them in the context of our family’s values. We have to come to the truth that this world is a dark place. We are here to shine the light of Jesus, not to hide or run away from the darkness. The earlier our children learn these things, the better. One day, they will undoubtedly encounter them. Teaching them early equips them to confront the issues wisely.
I remember watching a video of a seven or eight-year-old girl some months ago. She had made a video (obviously aided by an adult) talking about how one should avoid people, not tell others your secrets because there were evil people all around and they can destroy one’s destiny. I was perplexed by that mindset. However, it was evident that someone somewhere had taught her this based on their experience. We can only train or raise our children in the Way of God’s Word, not because of our bad experiences. Yes, our experiences are teachers, but we must align them with God’s word. Did they teach us God’s truth?
For example, a lady who was molested or harassed as a child might become suspicious of men. If she is not careful, she might prevent her girl child from playing with boys or mingling with them because of her experience. A better response will be to teach her proper sex education, body autonomy, and boundaries. A mother could also be over-indulgent because she thinks she suffered a lot and does not want her children to suffer. Meanwhile, these acts are preventing them from taking RESPONSIBILITY and facing life issues head-on.
Mothers, take heed! Are you aware that you are only a caretaker, not the owner of your children? Let the Owner teach you how to care for the ones entrusted in your care. Our heavenly Father is also willing to help us through the journey because it is His business. It is God’s business to see our children shine their light in the darkness. He has already orchestrated their paths. Ours is to learn His business of caring for the children he has given us. There is still love, forgiveness, peace, grace, and mercy in the world. These are some things we can equip our children with so they can shine bright in the darkness around us.
What thing(s) can you start learning of the Father today so you can teach your children the right way?
Please share with us so we can learn together.
Writer: Sandra Onojetah