Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wise Decisions

"Make wise decisions" is something of a mantra at our house. It is even said more often than, "Because I said so." Mark and I repeat it to remind the children to think before they make choices, and it can refer to something simple like whether you really want that extra serving of pasta, or to a serious temptation like should you take that piece of candy while no one is looking. We want them to learn that all actions have consequences-- some good, some bad. Those consequences can be short term, a stomach ache from eating too much, punishment for stealing, or a peaceful conscience for doing the right thing simply because it's the right thing. Or they can be long term, like losing your privileges for a day (big stuff when you are 11!) or enjoying the toy you saved your allowance to buy.

My husband is only partly joking when he says one of our jobs is to brainwash our children. We want to instill certain lessons and values so deeply that when the children are tested, they will hold firmly to what they know is right or have the thinking skills to analyze a situation carefully and make an informed choice.

I don't mean that we are trying to create little robots that grow up to be just like us (oh heaven help them if that's what they strive for!). We want them to be intelligent, independent, THINKERS. For example, Mark sometimes says he would rather one of the children decide as an adult to attend a different church denomination than he/she was raised in because he has studied their beliefs and practices and find those to be more in line with scripture, than to attend a Presbyterian church all his life because that's what Mom and Dad do. We want them think about their words and actions, and make wise decisions. Hopefully, if we say it enough, and teach them how and why to do so, they will hear it in their minds (and hearts!) always and will listen.

Life is all about making choices. They will choose careers, spouses, purchases, and lifestyles. Our desire is that Hannah, Abel, Robert, Elizabeth, and Hope will learn from the small lessons while they are growing up, and will be well equipped as adults to make choices that will bring them the joy and happiness we so desire for them, and more importantly, will draw them closer to their Lord and Savior and allow them to serve Him well.

May God bless our feeble efforts and give us the wisdom to guide our sweet children.


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