By Shari McMinn
I recently heard a biblically-based message on the fall into sin of Adam and Eve. It was no accident or Plan B, in which God had to figure out what to do next. God had it planned from the beginning of His creation of the universe so He could pour out His forgiveness and love on them, and us much later in time. By God allowing the death of animals to clothe them in their nakedness, He showed Adam and Eve mercy even before their repentance. God allows sin in this world, so we can press into Him as He shows us mercy and we seek His forgiveness and the redeeming of our souls. This applies to our children, too, and what we model for them in our response to their sin.
We are sinners, raising sinners. It is only through sin that we can know the love of God. If we didn’t sin, if our children didn’t sin, we could not understand the breadth, depth, height, and length of His unconditional love for us (Ephesians 3:17-19).
We must press into the Gospel of Christ — God’s love for us — so that we can view ourselves and our children as He created us to be. In Christ, we are worthy of His love, worthy of His mercy, worthy of His forgiveness, worthy of His sacrifice, worthy of His redemption, worthy of eternity with Him.
In my own life, I saw my late husband, Cary, model this for my children and me. Despite his own sin, my sin, and the collective sins of our many children, he abided in the Lord and was then able to pour out his love on us. He saw my children — especially our very unique, highly traumatized, multiple labeled, adopted children — not for who they were on their worst days, but for who God created them to be and would become by His never-ending grace. Dying in his sleep of a heart attack, my beloved husband had spent his all by providing for us, protecting us, shepherding us, loving us. He was not perfect, but in looking back, he used everything within himself as he pressed into God in order to sacrifice his time, money, and aspirations for our family. It was and remains a beautiful reminder to me and our children of how Christ sacrificed Himself because He loves us just as God created us to be, despite our shortcomings.
You might be thinking, “That’s all well and good, but my life every day is filled with such overwhelming frustration and tears; I can’t do this!” Practically speaking, these steps can help us press into God to then intentionally love our unique learners just as He created them to be, as we become more mature in our Christian faith:
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV).
- Make time for your own personal devotion the first thing each morning.
- Take time for a family devotion at breakfast (or another routine family time together) every day; prioritize this above all other learning.
- Fight fiercely to resist the enemy who comes to steal your joy and bring division to your family.
- Look at your children with a new love and appreciation each day; God created them, placing each in your family for His perfect purpose.
- Pray always, especially when the path is difficult; pray harder when it seems impossible.
- Be thankful in all things, despite the circumstances of each day (Psalm 100:4) (Ephesians 5:20).
- Wait on God; before you speak harshly, count to 10 (or 100!), and listen to the Lord.
- Remember that love does cover a multitude of sins — your’s and your children’s (1 Peter 4:8).
- Show mercy; yes, have rules and direct consequences for inappropriate behavior, but administer discipline in lovingkindness (discipline and discipleship share the same root word, which means pupil, student, or learner. Our children are learning how to love and behave, and we are too!).
- Forgive your children; seek their forgiveness when you sin against them, over and over again as God has and continues to forgive you.
For further inspiration, I hope you will make time to read this online article, Trusting God in the Hard Times.
Got questions? Need encouragement?
- How about a homeschooling event you can attend virtually from home? Sign-up for FREE to attend online April 4-8, 2022, The Homeschool of the Future, an Online Summit.
- If you haven’t done so already, take time this month to register for and plan to attend the in-person Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference, June 16-18, 2022. The Unique Learner’s track will feature a number of nationally recognized speakers who are relatable and knowledgeable on homeschooling special kids. (I’ll be managing the Exhibit Hall from the Exhibitor Services booth, so come introduce yourself!)
- Remember you can email me anytime with your questions at Shari@CHEC.org. I will try to respond within 24 hours.
- If your family is enrolled with the CHEC Independent School, check out your FREE unlimited access to the Mentor Mom program. Schedule one or more phone calls with experienced homeschool moms trained to counsel fellow homeschooling parents on a variety of issues. Login to your account, then go to the All-Access Benefits Zone to schedule your appointment(s).
- Find more resources you might need at CHEC’s website on this page for unique learners.
As we look ahead to April, let us remember to worship Jesus Christ, for He is risen! Easter is our great reminder annually, but let’s gratefully acknowledge His sacrifice for us and give Him glory every day of the year for His condescension to earth, life of ministry, crucifixion, resurrection, and eternal life.
Thank you for reading this post and please anticipate future ones on the 4th Wednesday, monthly.
PS: If you have a topic you want me to cover, please email me with your suggestion(s).