College bound for Motherhood?

Sleepy Girl
This is my tired little 5 year old who’s so smart she does appear to learn through osmosis – she’ll wake up from this knowing the capital of every state.

But really, she asked me a very interesting question today: “Mommy, do you have to go to college to learn how to be a Mom?” I thought for a moment, and said, “I suppose there are some classes you could take to teach you some skills, but really, your Mommy and Daddy should be teaching you how to be a mom someday.”

I wanted to know what sorts of things she thought she’d need to know to be a mom. “Umm, cooking, baking, boiling, and making waffles.” Then, “And how to treat your kids right, and just how to be a mom!”

The paradox of her question hit me a little later. I truly don’t want government schools teaching my children how to parent someday – that’s absolutely the job of my family and my faith community. But what do you do when the family or faith community fails to do its job? At that point, having public schools take over may seem like an option…but don’t go there. We are living out the results of handing over parental responsibilities to the state – no matter the consequence, I don’t consider that an option.

I was pondering a solution to this problem, and I thought rather than focus on the children whose parents have already handed over their rights and responsibilities to the state, focus on adult education for young parents. If we can get the parents with young children to wake up, the tide can turn.

I’d begin with something very basic, but very complete, like the “fruits of the Spirit” –

But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

If young moms and dads could seriously get a handle on how to just BE a person with these character traits, everything else would follow. There’d be no need to teach these parents the nitty-gritty details of how to discipline a child, how to teach kids to respect each other and to play fair. Because full of the fruits of the Spirit, they’d just know, like a vine instinctively reaching for the sun. And a child who constantly has modeled before her a parent full of love and self-control and peace –this will undeniably produce a child fully equipped to be a mom or dad someday. Forget college.

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3 Responses to College bound for Motherhood?

  1. Heidi says:

    Jennifer,

    Love the question! :) I agree with your proposal. In fact, this is something I have said for quite some time. Recently, while leading a women’s study on the John Eldredge book “Captivating” (which was ok, but not life changing) we were discussing the whole concept of “self help” book in the church. As we began looking at it together the conclusion we came to was this. If we spent more time pursuing what it means to be a follower of Christ and less time perfecting our flesh according to various human interpretations of biblical concepts the matter of better wife, mom, friend, worker, etc. would solve themselves.

    I think we, as a body, spend far too much time worrying about the peripherals and not enough time personally applying the truth we do know from Scripture.

    Anyhow. Good thoughts!

  2. Jane says:

    My hubby and I have just started reading Grace Based Parenting, by Dr. Tim Kimmel. We are not very far into it, but I am getting the impression that he doesn’t have a secret formula for raising kids, but directs parents to model the grace that God shows to us.

  3. Jen says:

    I’m so glad readers are understanding what I was getting at =)

    I was afraid someone would roast me for saying “forget college,” which of course, is only in reference to the issue I’m talking about. Which is — pursue Christ and godliness, there’s no formula (as Jane said), and so many problems will solve themselves (as Heidi said).

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