I'm not going to go into the fine details, mainly because I already can hear the beratement from visitors here over it.
To my shame as a parent, this is not something new to come around and I apparently have not learned much better how to avoid it.
I don't understand lax parenting. Not being wholly -- and holy -- serious about the training, the purity of self and family, the right and moral standards that (should) make up a family professing and claiming heartily the Name of Christ over their household.
To what length would you, or should you, go to protect the future of your family? At what point are you no longer able to have that God-given authority to place lines and mark boundaries?
If you have a child with a drinking, or a drug problem, where do you stop and wash your hands of it and follow the worldly thinking of common psychology and just watch and let it all go to divine intervention instead of your parental action and duty?
When did parents lose the authority of The Bible? God has given parents authority and stewardship over children -- they are HIS Children and only on 'loan' as it were to us. Remember the parable of the talents? Think of your children as being your talents, given by God. How are you going to train them up to best glorify Him?
I am certainly among the chief sinners. I am not a single inch of a step farther along some righteous path toward Godliness than the next person. There are inumerable sins in my life and they change positions daily, never seeming to grow weaker in their existence. I have a list of mistakes and poor decisions in my past several miles long -- and let me tell you, right now today, I see the list beginning to spread far and wide in ahead of me as well.
I am watching the sins of lax parenting, of trying to walk both IN and OF the world around me instead of following a Godly pathway of being a stranger in this place, a set apart, peculiar people, come back to roost as a vulture returns to his found kill. I brought these issues home myself by not doing as I knew I should, as I knew I was called upon to do by The Word of God.
I am not saying that I need to remove a splinter from my neighbors eye...I am saying there is one heck of an 8x8 fully blocking my vision and splintering through my entire being.
We will have no freedoms in this home until we have -- each member -- developed the maturity and respect to follow the authority we belong under. There are no 'privileges' deserved by anyone, and that includes myself at the top of the list, not just the children. Any freedom or privilege, no matter how small it may seem, how trivial it it appears to be, how 'splitting of hairs' it might be, nothing will be given or taken without The Word of The Lord backing it completely. That requires study and that's what we need. Perhaps even moreso than the prayers of others.
My previous prayer need is no longer. It has developed into larger things and will be dealt with day to day as we walk the Walk we should have been all along. Maybe I'm a hardcore parent -- I know I used to be, and turmoil like this didn't have the chance to enter in this home. But I slacked off, even in small amounts, and started trying to balance this family's future between this world and God's Kingdom. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot live with one foot in both worlds. Not without visiting sins of the world around you. There really isn't a 'balance' to be had -- it has to be ALL GOD or NO GOD. Gray areas don't exist. Not without problems.
Thank you to everyone who shared in my original prayer request, and even those less-than-nice folks who felt led to share in emails.