Parenting Summa cum Laude

A very dear person in my life!
(Parenting with the highest praise/honor)

Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
Ephesians 6:2 Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise.
3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Proverbs 17:6 Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
If you missed out on the introduction to our series, you may read it here.  Each article for this series will have a somewhat familiar foreign title with the word "parenting".  We are going to have lots of fun with this and today we are discussing what Summa cum Laude has to do with parenting!
Recently some of our family’s values were questioned by well-meaning relatives.  I’d like to share with you the story of that encounter. It all began at a family get-together.

Ideally, family get-togethers can be a wonderful time of strengthening and renewing the relational bonds. They can at times foster thoughtful reflection and contemplation. But then there are those moments that produce clashes and conflict.

It is inevitable.  Ours happened when all of the teen aged cousins were planning a trip to the Dallas mall, without any adults, and our children were not permitted to go.

We were accused of being overprotective and overbearing parents.  We were told we were raising our children to rebel against us and that our daughters were bound to become wall flowers if we didn't let them go…and the list went on.
It was hard to swallow, but we stood our ground.
Daddy decided to take our two oldest teenagers on a walk to find out where their hearts rested on the whole matter.  While they were gone, I went to our room to pray.  A friend had loaned me a copy of “The Power of a Praying Parent” by Stormie O’Martian.  In it, my friend, or someone else, had used a straw paper to bookmark the following prayer:

Lord, I pray that You would give my children a heart that desires to obey You, in Your Word and in prayer, listening to Your voice.  Shine Your light upon any secret or unseen rebellion (this was timely) that is taking root in their heart, so that it can be identified and destroyed.
I pray that they will not give themselves over to pride, selfishness, and rebellion, but that they will be delivered from it.  By the authority You’ve given to me in Jesus’ name, I “stand against the wiles of the devil” and I resist idolatry, rebellion, stubbornness, and disrespect; they will have no part in my children’s life, nor will my children walk a path of destruction and death because of them.
Later, when I talked with Hubby, he shared with me his conversation with our children.  Thankfully, our children were not harboring any feelings of rebellion toward us.  They were actually shocked that the other parents had not taken the same stand as we had.

Though our family values and parenting techniques may not always be understood by others, it is vital that we stand true to what God has placed in our hearts.

We teach our children to live by the Ten Commandments.  To honor their father and mother is number five; the first commandment with a promise.   If we will honor our father and mother, God promises we will live long in the land He has given us.  (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:2)

When a student graduates from their class with Summa cum Laude honors that is that highest praise the institution can bestow upon them.  They are given better treatment and decorated more than any of their other classmates.  Any student who approaches their work in an inconsistent, half-hearted manner as a slacker could never receive Suma Cum Laude honors.  One must work earnestly and intensely to receive that distinction.

Parents, labor assiduously.  

Take your parenting to the next level.  Don’t be satisfied with parenting Que sera sera (Spanish meaning whatever will be will be).  Get aggressive and take a proactive approach.  Remember we are not raising children; we are raising adults a la mode!

Could you say that your parenting skills deserve a Suma cum Laude honor?  We all make mistakes and wish we could have done things differently, but if we are striving for the highest praise from our Lord, He will honor our efforts. 

Don’t give up!  Keep pressing on!  Reach for the highest praise!

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Parenting A La Mode Series
Parenting Faux Pas
Parenting Laissez-faire (non-interference)
Parenting en Rapport

Linking up with
The Modest Mom

Parenting A La Mode Introduction


Andrew + Stephanie said...

Nikki this is a great post! It's too bad you had to deal with that situation - but what a blessing to see where your children's hearts lie! I'll be sharing this on our facebook page.

Niki French said...

It was a blessing in disguise for sure. Thank you for coming by and for sharing, too! Makes my heart smile!

Rachael @ Inking the Heart said...

Such an encouraging post. I have family members that will not be a part of our lives because of how we raise our children. These people are not Christians nor do they have any children. Honoring the Lord is not an honorable trait in our society and rejection from family hurts but we pray and pray. Love the prayer you quoted! Blessings to you as you press on! Rachael at Inking the Heart (linked up after you at What Joy is Mine)

Charleen said...

The thing that most adults forget or choose not to believe is that children crave discipline.

momstheword said...

Our children wouldn't have gone either. My kids were never allowed to hang out at the mall with their friends or by themselves when they were teens.

We DID go to the mall and take them with us, of course.

Sometimes I met some friends at the mall and we brought our kids along. The kids were allowed to go to a store but they were all together and we knew where they were. Besides they were older by then.

My kids never went to a movie theater without an adult until they were 18 and adults themselves.

It was never a problem for them. We either went with them or they went with a friend and their family. But then we, as a family, hung out with a lot of our friends and their kids.

My boys are now 20 and 25. My 25 year old graduated Suma cum laude when he graduated from college, and he is engaged to be married.

My 20 year old is in college now.

They have never rebelled and we have been able to keep their hearts.

They worked their way through college (the youngest is still working his way through) and with scholarships and both have jobs.

They are both active in our church and serve in ministry there.

Yes, we said no to certain movies, certain t.v. shows, most overnighters, and other things when they were growing up, but we said yes to lots of other things. Some of their friends thought we were mean.

My oldest son once said that he appreciated all the stuff that we said no to, because now that he was older he didn't have any of it rattling around in his head, lol!

Thanks so much for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party today! :)

Pamela said...

I'm sorry you had to face that situation, but you came out shinning. Those things happened in our extended family when I was growing up. Not long before she died my aunt wrote me a letter telling me my parents made the right choices in raising us. Your children will call you "blessed."

A Proverbs 31 Wife said...

Thank you for sharing this at Matrimonial Monday. I plan on featuring it tomorrow! :)

Kasey said...

It's a strange world we live in where it is more acceptable to "relaxed" in your parenting that alert and watchful. Bless you for staying firm to your convictions!