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With Freedom Comes much Responsibility - Issue 249
May 18, 2012
Hi there! ....

This week was a hard week in a sense that Daniel reached a place that needed my thinking, assessing and planning. You never know when your child is going to hit a brick wall so to speak but you need to be there and help them pick up the pieces and move on. Then again this week had its delightful moments too with a long-time friend making a surprise visit to town, and a few long conversations with friends on the phone. This weekend we go camping with the church family, I’m looking forward to being outdoors.

For those in Australia who are considering going to the Mum Heart Conference mid-June, now is the time to register. It is only a month away!! Looking forward to meeting those who are going.

Live life with your kids!

If you are an Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.

Also if you are an Australian Homeschooler - Have you heard of this conference? I'll be one of the speakers, and would love to meet you there. Go to Mum Heart Conference website.

With Freedom Comes Much Responsibility

Over the years as I begin to trust the idea that my children learn in many situations, not just with bookwork, I am challenged with the idea that “with freedom comes much responsibility”.

Seeing the years with our children are to be used for discipleship, not just education, can give us a sense of freedom. We may not tie ourselves down with curriculum, we may have a loose routine, we may get involved in a lot of life giving activity but with this freedom comes responsibility.

God has given our children to us, not just so that we have a good time together as they grow up, not just so that our children have a happy childhood and know what they are good at doing. No, God gave us these children so that they could be grown up in the ways of the Lord. That is, that they learn to know God and his ways. This is surely a responsibility and one that we need to not take lightly.

We need to be responsible with our Relationships - God places a high priority on relationships. He himself wants a relationship with us. He knows that just laying down the law and making people do what is right does not produce healthy fruit. Instead getting to know Him, getting to know each other is what will bring life. It is ironic that when we walk away from the structure of institutionalised education that we need to be intentional about relationships. You could think that it would be a natural given. But it is not – we fill our days with projects, with good things, but we can easily leave relationships behind.

  • Our first relationship priority is God – do we make time where we are talking and listening to Him? Do we make time in our day where we teach our children to listen and talk to Him?
  • Our next set of relationships we need to care for is our family: our spouse and our children. Are we really connecting or do we just spend time together? Do we really know what is on their heart? Do we know what is causing stress or joy?
  • The next set of relationships we need to foster are the people God puts in our path – these maybe our extended family, our church family, our homeschool co-op or craft group, it may be the stranger we bump into down the street.
Are you so busy ‘discipling’ your children you forget that having others in your life is a part of the process.

We need to be responsible with our Resources – The key resources God has given me is time, money, possessions, and energy. When these things are spent – they are spent – so I need to use them wisely. I need to use them on the things that God hold’s as precious and not get enticed by the marketing ploys of the world. How am I using my time to glorify God? My money, my energies? Are they spent on selfish pursuits? Is my heart set on approval from man instead God?

We need to be responsible with our Talents – God has given you talents, and they don’t necessarily have to lay dormant while you are a mother. How your talents are expressed may well need to look different for a season (the long season of motherhood) but we need to know that God gave us those talents for a reason. I heard of a mother who gave up singing at church because it made family worship hard, it distracted her from her family on Sundays. She prayed and asked God about her talents. She came to see that she could teach her children to sing and worship that way – which is what she did, and now her whole family encourages the Christian church with their music. God didn’t ask her to lay her talents aside, but rather He used her talent in the situation she was in (motherhood). Can I encourage you to ask God how to use your talent in this season of your life.

As parents we need to be responsible with our children’s whole being :

  • Physical well being – are you helping your child to be healthy in their body? Are you encouraging them in exercise and diet?
  • Emotional well being – we are emotional beings, and we need to teach our children to be comfortable with their emotions. Our children need to learn to control their emotions as well as communicate through their emotions.
  • Mental development – are we teaching our children to think, to use their brain. This includes things like reading, writing, and math but it doesn’t end there. There is a place for traditional learning, and in our pursuit of a lifestyle of learning we cannot afford to throw the baby out with the bathwater! We need to be encouraging our children to grow mentally.
  • Spiritual well being – This should have come first as it is obviously our priority but maybe listing it last will keep it in your mind. What are you doing in your family that encourages your children to get to know Jesus? To be a follower of Jesus?

We have found two words that have helped us balance all the demands on our time, emotions and energy: To be intentional and directive.

With the freedom that comes from the ideas of living life with your kids, of a lifestyle of learning, of discipleship we need to know what it is that our children need to know, and how we are going to teach them. We cannot afford to just do one day after the next – we can cope with a short season of that, but ultimately we need to know where we are going and how we are going to get there. Don’t let your children’s childhood disappear, don’t let opportunities to teach their heart slip away, don’t let relationship building memories get lost in the day to day. With the freedom that your lifestyle brings you – be responsible!

I blog during the week over at Live life with your Kids Blog. This week I didn't blog!! but you could check out some archives.

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My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter

Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

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