Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Simple Need to be Radical in Raising our Children

****Please note, this post has some adult content*****Not for children's eyes***********

Years ago I had a sister-in-law that thought we were the weirdest parents of all time, her famous quite was 'Dan and Judy won't let the kids do......', fill in the blank.  She was constantly letting us know that we needed to be more lenient because 'all the other kids were doing it'.   Her goal was to be her kids best friend and for them to think she was the cool mom.  Little did she know that in being their best friend and not enforcing any rules or limits at all, she was making a far worse mistake than she ever accused us of.  
Their oldest son (my nephew Jeremy, who was born in 1981) was so close to her that he had no way of coping with the world and the real problems of it.  She was his drug supplier (although she'll deny it to this day, but we have valid proof) and was so needy herself that she actually had him come in the bathroom when she took a bath so they could talk (I'm sure she didn't want my brother to here their conversation), now that was way beyond appropriate.  I believe Jeremy tried pulling away from her but she wouldn't let go and wouldn't let him make any decisions on his own because might take him away from her, she had such a need to be needed and loved.  Anytime he went to church or tried to turn away from her she would start pounding words into his head about his terrible (Christian) father.  Jeremy was so messed up in his head that he made some really bad choices and his confusion I'm sure from seeing his mother in the bathtub (among other things) that he made some very bad relationship choices and his confusion was so very obvious to everyone but her, she said he needed to be himself.  Sadly the poor kid had no idea who 'himself' really was.  Jeremy was so used to getting what he wanted all of his life that when his father tried to enforce rules Jeremy just went crazy, he threatened to hurt himself and take his father's life, probably more than once.  One night Dan and I went up to the police station close to their house to see if we could get him out of the house and away from her, they said a threat did not justify removing him from his home.  We went over to their house and begged her to let us take him to a school down in Kentucky that works with messed up kids, she was adamant that she would not let her baby go.  Her comment that night was 'Jeremy would never hurt himself, he loves himself too much', she simply wouldn't change her mind because she was so very needy.
We saw Jeremy just a few times after this and although he had gone to church and committed his life to Christ she was still pulling him back to her and telling him how bad the church was.
Jeremy died on October 8th, 2000, he had been partying and a bad mixture of drugs and alcohol put him to sleep where he laid until many hours later when his friends decided to check on him.  We know it was not a suicide, he just simply went too far with his choices.  This last remark tells us a lot about Jeremy, his mother never ever gave him limits so he didn't know when to stop, very, very sad.
After my mother called that morning to tell us Jeremy was dead I called his mother, who although she was messed up herself, we had always loved very, very much.  Her first words were, 'Judy, I never thought he would die'......very strange since we had been telling her over and over again that he would.
Jeremy has been gone for over 9 years and I still can't get over what a sad story it all is, his father begged her to go to church and tried to pray with them at home, she contradicted everything he did in trying to get their family straightened out.  My brother is not blameless either, he had been on drugs for many years and it's amazing he is alive today but he gave his life to Christ some years before Jeremy died and he's never gone back to his old way of living, he is the most committed Christian I have ever seen, only Christ could do that.

Yes, we homeschooled our kids, we limited the things they did and just because someone said a PG movie was appropriate we said 'no', the decision in what they watched was our choice as their parents, not the movie rating people.  We also kept our kids very close, they did not go to other peoples houses and spend the night, actually our kids never had a babysitter, except my mom and my sister, who loved our kids dearly (still do and the feeling is mutual!).  Why people lock up their money and jewels and then let their kids run free has always been just atrocious to me, our kids are the most important thing in the world to Dan and I and they always have been.  Now that they are grown we see the result of how we raised them, they may veer from some of our choices and may try other ways, we know we did a good job and we know that they know wrong from right.  In a way Jeremy dying probably taught them more than we ever could about the choices we make, they loved him and grew up with him, losing him was a devastating blow to all of us.

This post was not a bash my ex-sister-in-law post, basically she 'knows not what she does', it's that simple.  She was raised in a very unstable home and was never taught about Christ.  Until she gives her life to him, she will always be just floating in the sad abyss of drugs and alcohol she still chooses to live in.  Yes, she is first on our prayer list of unsaved family, oh how I pray she will accept Him one day, life will be so incredibly changed for the better for her.

What I wanted to say in the post is that we have to make radical choices in raising our children, I'm not saying that everyone should homeschool just because we did, I'm saying that we need to look at our own families and make the right choices every moment of every day, yes it is a constant battle between good and evil and evil tries to worm it's way in through so many genres, we need to discern this for our children and make the choices according to His Word and His Commandments, it's that simple.

Now, there was another child in all of this, Jeremy had a brother who was a few years younger and we were very concerned about because he lived in this home with the battles between good and evil raging constantly.  Of course he lost his only brother and he was 15 when Jeremy died at 19.  Michael has not only overcome all of these challenges and had his eyes open to his mother's lies (once again she was raised that way and I truly believe that's all she knows, just constant deciet), but he graduated from college in 2009 and is going on to law school.  We are amazed at this young man and his determination.

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