Trixi is a dear friend from our other blog and we've chatted back and forth in blogland for a good year or better now.
She commented on my post rebuttal to the anonymous commenter and asked where we thought things went wrong and our eldest started making the choices he has in life.
My pride is rubbing me completely to stop typing, but I can't do that. I can clearly see what we did wrong in our history. I would love to say something short and blame-shifting, like satan got his hold on him and we pray for him to come back.
We do, of course, hold high prayers and hang onto that promise that if we trained him correctly in The Lord, he will not forget those teachings forever. But that isn't really our case and I would be lying outright if I were to shift the blame that easily.
So, the question to ponder is how my son made this choice/these choices that seem to ride against the grain of all we have raised in him and taught him to believe.
While growing up, eldest was in public school until 6th grade. By that point, bringing him home was rather a moot point, looking back. I was ready to homeschool, but in many ways I wasn't prepared for it at all. He was immediately filled with what he wanted to hear from friends and family members.
Why should he be isolated at home with us?
Why couldn't he have the friends at public school that he left behind?
What harm is there to put him back in school if he agrees to try harder?
Why does he have to feed the animals, why does he have this chore or that chore...the list goes on and on.
The bottom line is that we failed him, as parents. We were far too lenient in his raising and have seen that fruit come back on us, plain and simple. We didn't punish everything that was wrong and offensive, ad when we did, it was slow in coming. It grew slowly, and we have the exact fruit we as the parents planted in him and his heart. It just took a few years to really mature.
We once had a policy much like the Boot Camp process I share. Any offense, every offense, regardless of size and timing, was promptly dealt with. The rules were plain and clear. Everything was governed for a time, until his heart was in the right place and the correct responses to any and every discipline were given with ease.
But, we softened on it all somewhere along the line. A church that was more free with their youth and guidance, allowing satan to whisper in our ears little things like "does it really matter if he didn't clean his room today? he's had plans for over a week to go to a movie with his friend?" or "he completed most of his school work for the week, can't he do this or that and finish the work later on?"
We said yes...we should have towed the line and said no. We began to slowly teach him that there were loop-holes in our standards and rules. We taught him how to circumvent those rules by changing them by not being consistent in the response and discipline, and they went straight from being set in stone, to being hastily written in shifting sands.
We taught him to disrespect us and ignore our rules and our voice by letting things slide now and again. We did not respond to much of anything with any level of consistency, so we taught him that rules were subject to every external influence...where we were dictated how he might be punished, if at all; what he did received punishment based on our emotions or mood at the time of the offense; the rules and guidelines we claimed were in place, depended on those same influences.
Our eldest was allowed all manner of things for entertainment...we were taught to feel sorry for him, being pulled out of school, living out in the country away from friends and 'life' and all that, having to live the life we (the adults) chose (that country living and farm life). That was all we heard, from every side of the family connection and from friends (and looking back, it was the friends who either had no children of their own, or had only 1 child and took issue with that). We chose incorrect role models and mentors for not only him, but for ourselves as well.
Sure, I can sit here and easily see all that brought us to where we are now, and I can clearly see the path my eldest is walking and where it is leading him, but I am helpless at this point to do anything but turn him completely over to God for redemption and direction. I cannot change his heart now. He is no longer under our influences, though I do see at times the heart of that young child we once had peeking out and I know he is going to be dragged down and hurt terribly before he finally pulls himself out of this pathway.
I cannot even begin to describe the pain in my heart knowing that I have done this to him. That I have lead him this way by my own lack of parenting. That I will have to watch him continue in the path he is in, making the poor choices that will be with him his entire life. A part of me cries desperately all day and builds a wall of hatred for myself inside. Another part of me knows that it is water under the bridge now, so to speak, and there is nothing I can do to alter his course now, but to pray mightily and deeply with all I have in me for God to grab hold of him and keep him safe and guide him along.
And I can ensure that I am not making those same mistakes over again with our other 8 children. There is but small shame really in making mistakes once. They are most often made because of ignorance of a better way, a better choice. But to repeat those mistakes once you have been awakened to them? That is where the shame lies.
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.
Blogs I Love to Visit...
- 5 Acres & A Drean
- A Pondering Heart
- Ask Jackie @ Backwoods Home
- Bateman Homestead
- Bible Version Comparison Chart
- Busy B Homemaker
- Caffeinated Homestead
- Choosing Voluntary Simplicity
- Down To Earth Blog
- Fruit of Her Hands blog
- Granny Miller blog
- Growing up Herbal
- Half a Hundred Acre Wood blog
- He Sows, She Sews
- He Sows, She Sews
- Herbal Academy of New England Blog
- Homestead Honey blog
- It All Matters Mom blog
- Just Plain Marie
- My Journey to Separation
- Nourishing Days blog
- One and a Half Acre Homestead
- Outside the Box Homeschool blog
- Ozark Mountain Family Homestead
- Reflections from Drywood Creek
- Sabbath Mood Homeschool
- Small Farm Girl
- Simple Green Frugal Coop
- Snowfall Academy blog
- Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth
- Sufficient Graze Farm blog
- The Caffeinated Homestead
- The Crunchy Chicken
- The Nerdy Farmwife
- The Prudent Homemaker
- The Unplugged Family
- The Wild Garden
- This Life I live
- Vaccination Information website
- Vintage Remedies DIY & Articles
- Wellness Mama
- Wood Cookstove Cooking blog