I was sitting in church yesterday listening to the message when the Lord spoke to me about my children. But as is usually the case, when the Lord speaks to me about my children (or husband, for that matter) it is about something I am doing or need to change. Yesterday was no different. The pastor was reading the story of the rich young ruler in Mark 10:17-22:
As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ ” And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.
The first thing I realized was that it was not the money or possessions this young man had which was his problem. His problem was what he had made his idol and to what he had given his heart. Jesus asked the young man to let go of his possessions, precisely because that is where his affections were tied up — and as we find out, tied up more with his possessions than with the Lord. And Jesus knew it.
The next thing I realized was that I was just like the rich young ruler. Only I am not holding tightly to possessions. I am holding tightly to my children. And the Lord was saying to me, “Do you love Me more than these?”
Loving my children was not wrong, of course, or wanting them to succeed in life was not bad. But had I made their success my idol? Were my affections so completely tied up in their lives that I couldn’t let go of them and let Jesus work as He would, in them and in me? What if they make a mistake, how will that reflect on me and the job I did raising them and teaching them? Double ouch, because therein lies the root of the holding tightly. Uncomfortable questions for those of us who homeschool. I think I have some soul searching to do this week.