Thursday, September 10, 2009

Raising The Bar

A repost from my blog archives 2007...

When I was a teacher I remember that one of my big beliefs was that if I set the bar high, my students would work hard to attain that. I believed that if I motivated them, showed them their value and help them to belive in themselves, that they would desire to reach the bar. As a teacher it was more about helping these kids to reach that "love of learning" that was inside of them, as well as finding the good in themselves and culitivating that, causing it to grow. It was about helping them believe in themselves and that they ABSOLUTELY could reach higher than they had ever reached before.....and then we did a little Accounting, Business Law, Entreprenuership or Computer class.

Now, I know at least one or two of my former students keep in touch with me still. They would have to agree that that was Mrs. Engel. For the most part, it is EXACTLY what happened. So many of my students were able to find that within themselves, and many of them came back to me throughout the years (long after they graduated) just to be encouraged again. For you skeptics out there - no not every student reached for their highest potential. But in a class of 25 if 2 were able to then......

I am a Mom now. After 10 years of trying to get pregnant and losing so many little one's to Heaven, I have three boys. Back when I first gave birth I remember feeling like the Lord placed on my heart that my first and highest calling was to be a mother to these boys. It was liken to missionary work in a way. I was called to this "people group"(and they can be a wild people at times) and the Lord would supply for me what was needed along the journey I just had to be obedient to Him and surrender MY will and He would enable me to do the rest. So I'm doing my devotions today. It's a book/study guide about Lies Women Believe & The Truth that Sets them Free. I have read many of Nancy Leigh DeMoss books, heard her speak and truly her wisdom has always impacted my life in a big way. So the Lie was this: "Children need to get exposed to the real world so that they can learn to function in it." (in the book it follows Eve and her sin/repentance/restoration...) Satan convinced her that by eating the forbidden fruit, she would learn something she needed to know. "When you eat of it your eyes will be opened...knowing good and evil" (Gen 3:5). Satan was right -- when Eve ate, her eyes were opened (v.7); she did learn something she had not known before--the experience of evil. The result of this knowledge was shame, guilt, and alienation from God and her husband. God never intended that you and I should know evil by experiencing it for oursleves. His desire is that we should be "wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil" (Rom. 16:19)

The challenge of every Christian parent is to bring up children who love God with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength; who have a vibrant, personal relationship with the Lord Jesus; and whose lives will be bright and shining lights, penetrating the darkness around them. We are to be seeking to raise up not just "good" children, but children who enthusiastically embrace the Truth, children who love righteousness and hate evil, children who will be used by God to change this world. I am encouraged to RAISE THE BAR. I had no issue with this when I was a High School Teacher. Now I'm a mom and the stakes are much higher - these are MY children. I've been called to raise Godly men. I am not able to do this alone - I must rely on Christ and I trust He will show me every day how I can best do this.

Is what Nancy says unrealistic? Read Psalm 101. I think not! Nonetheless, I am unable to sit and be happy with a bar that is only half way up - I need to raise it. For myself and for my kids. (Because we all know that when we raise the bar, the child may not reach the top of that bar, but becuase it was raised higher - the higher they had to jump, climb, grow...

No one would think of taking a young tender plant and planting it outside on a day when the snow was falling hard on the 8 inches of snow that had fallen the day before and have any hope of its surviving. That's what a greenhouse is for--to provide an optimum environment for plants to grow. Then, when their roots have developed and they are strong enough to withstand adversity, they can be transplanted to the outdoors!

So in closing, I am spurred on. We are not to be molded by the culture, rather, we are to be filled with the Spirit and the Word of God that our lives will penetrate and convict the culture around us. That is my challenge as a Christian parent--to raise up a young men who are not conformers but transformers. OH YEA!

Sidebar: This is why I chose to name my homeschool "GreenHouse Homeschool Academy - a place to provide an optimum enviornment for my children to grow...Learning to Love Learning!"

3 comments:

Katie said...

Raise the bar...feeling very encouraged by that! What a great nugget of truth...that this is their much needed greenhouse, a place to strengthen their roots, grow and prepare for the harsh weather of this fallen world!

Michelle said...

Raising the bar has been a theme latley. Yes I am hoping to have my own veggies in my cooking soon! Actually I've made everything cucumber this last month!!

Aaron said...

I want you to know that this is amazing. I admire you and the thousands of parents out there who have made the home school choice. Thank you for this blog it is inspiring even for dad's.