Protect Your Children Emotionally and Spiritually (Part 1)
by Drenda Keesee
More important than protecting your children emotionally, you need to protect them spiritually. Children are unstable as they grow up, easily persuaded and affected. It is a crucial time for spiritual growth, and it can also be a dangerous time for negative messages and attitudes to be planted in their hearts. Some things may be out of your control, but you have more influence and opportunity than you may think, so be mindful of protecting your children spiritually.
Pain seeks pleasure. When kids are told they can’t do something special, and they’re told that their uniqueness has to be put away and they have to be a clone of somebody else, they’re in pain. They’re hurt. They’re boxed in and shut up. They can’t be the person God designed them to be. When that happens, they get into trouble. They’re looking for a way to act up, because they don’t have anybody to encourage them!
When we were considering…
…homeschooling our children, I asked myself, “God, what will they miss? I’m afraid they’re going to miss out on sports, on prom, on this and that.” I was praying because I knew homeschooling was a calling and a commitment. It is one of the most challenging jobs I’ve ever done, but it’s also the most rewarding assignment that God’s given me. Next to getting born again and filled with the Spirit, and marrying the right man, home educating my children has been the best decision I’ve ever made.
When I was asking God what my kids would miss, the Holy Spirit clearly said to me, “Your children are going to miss intense pressure toward premarital sex and multiplied partners. They’re going to miss many opportunities to do drugs and drink alcohol. They’re going to miss daily emotional abuse from peers and teachers who don’t love them as you do and understand their giftings. They won’t mold them into and develop them into the person whom I’ve called them to be.”
I said, “God, I sign up. I’ll take the job!”
And you know what? My children have missed all of those things, and your kids can miss those things, too. And we found great sports programs, formals, and created lots of fun and parties, so they didn’t miss out on any fun. The Bible says your children don’t have to depart before they choose God. They don’t have to go away and make serious mistakes that they’ll spend the rest of their lives trying to make right. They can take the path that God intended from the beginning.
That doesn’t mean that they’ll be perfect and always do it right. But when my kids messed up, I had the great joy of being there as their mom to embrace them, sometimes to discipline them, to love them, hug them, and tell them they can do better. I got to wipe away their tears, believe in them, and remind them that God believes in them. I got to be the one to tell them, “You can do it. I believe in you.” I got to tell my daughters they’re beautiful. I walked with my children through their first disappointments and times their friends hurt them. To be able to be there in those moments is greater than any academic achievement they could ever accomplish. The world has been our classroom, and the best part was we did it together.
I’ll never forget the day when Tom came up to me and said, “When I grow up, Mommy, I’m going to marry you.” A mom can’t hear a better compliment than that!
The time I’ve had with my children is more precious than any career I could have had or anything else I could have done. I am so glad I did not give someone else the opportunity to take my children and mold them in the way they wanted. It is your job to place the vision of God in front of your children. You can either push your children away, or you can embrace the short nineteen to twenty years you have them in your home to impart into their lives. Whether that means staying involved in your children’s education, homeschooling, or valuing every minute you can spend as a family, take hold of that and lead your family.
Excerpt from “The New Vintage Family” by Drenda Keesee
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage and family. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.