We'll end our short series today, but there is much to think and pray about, isn't there?
I have a few tough questions asked in the email my friend sent, but I don't want to skirt over them and miss out on any ruminating we might get to do. (Ruminating. That's my vocabulary word for you for the day ;) )
So, as far as feeling the same as you that courtship may not be the path for our family, but not having a really clear alternative, any suggestions?
Also, how have your "Bigs" become passionate about loving God recently? What a joy you and your husband must feel at seeing this beauty in them?! What all parents pray for their children, amen?
Ah, courtship. Somehow, courtship has been thrown in the homeschool soup and linked up arm-in-arm, and if you don't think it's the only way to approach a marriage, you are most certainly missing it, don't get it, or are sending your kids on a path to hell.
I beg to differ. See, what I can't reconcile is that I was raised in a non-homeschooling, non-courtshipping home where Jesus was passionately pursued and the gospel was above all things, and somehow in that non-homeschooling, non-courtshipping home, both my brothers and I committed ourselves to dating without sex and all three of us love and serve the Lord with fervor! How does that happen?
When people ask my parents what they did to get three kids who are walking with the Lord, my mom says, "Nothing. It's all by God's grace." They did so many things wrong (she says). I think they did some things wrong too, but do you know what they did right? They loved God, with a passion.They loved Him so much it changed their lives. They loved Him so much that His perfect, infinite love spilled out over our home and our lives and we just lapped up the overflow.
I do so many things wrong. Our choices are what they are, and I'll bet you $500 that some of my kids will leave our home loving the choices we made and some will leave our home saying, "I'll never do that!" See, there's no winning when we're relying on our own choices.
Relying on our homeschooling. Relying on our curriculum. Relying on courtship. Relying on a purity ring. Relying on the right way to worship, the right Bible translation, the right community.
Rely on God.Everything else is hope-shifting.
Bet you know what my answer is to my friend's question about how my older kids have been turned on to the gospel and love Jesus, don't you?
And how does grace relate to the courtship question? Because our children are people, not projects. There is not a formula that works for any of them, and most especially not across the board. We've had two sons "date" girls, and though we use the forbidden-in-homeschool-circles word "date", our teens and we know that we mean "get to know a girl because you have an interest in potentially marrying her" and not "hang out with a girl because you're trying to find your worth and value in her and part of that is getting sex from her." That's a given.
Each child is different. Each dating situation is unique. All are couched in prayer. All are carefully walked alongside. Some have ended poorly. All are life lessons along this journey and all serve a purpose in the life of a young man or woman. For better or for worse, if you will.
If you're still here, still reading, here's the take-away: Remind yourself of the Gospel, every day. Love your kids out of your love for God. Homeschool because it's a fabulous tool, but not your hope. Have the tough conversations about life and love with your kids. Rely on God, not formulas. And grace. Grace always wins.