Friday, June 24, 2011

Mother's Sheep

Last night my Muslim Turkish neighbor had the kid's and I over to visit with her guest, a young man who is visiting for the summer to learn English at the local community college.  We had a wonderful time talking about our different cultures and sharing our different perspectives.

At one point in the conversation, he asked me about homeschooling. You could tell that he thought it was highly unusual and was a little confrontational, but after homeschooling for 16 years, it's not like I haven't had to defend explain my choice. I was happy to share my reasons with him, including that I believed that God has uniquely made each of my children and that I can give them time and encouragement to focus on their strengths and God-given talents and abilities.  BTW, I think each of us as parents can do that, no matter what kind of school choice we make.  It was just one of the reasons I stated.

The guest listened politely, but then commented that Rhett was a "mother's sheep."  Through interpretation I realized he was saying that my son was a "Momma's Boy" because he spent all day at home with his Momma.  To a Muslim man, I'm sure it seems that way.  I assured this young man, that although my son (who was sitting right beside me!) was taught at home, he was truly manly. I cited things that my husband had taught him and how he was just about to complete his Eagle Scout award.  Of course, much of the conversation was lost in translation and we had a wonderful time visiting, but I awoke this morning thinking about the connection between last night's conversation and a prayer that was shared in the Father's Day message at church on Sunday.

A Father Prayer by General Douglas MacArthur
(May 1952)

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.

Lead him I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.

Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

Then, I, his father, will dare to whisper, have not lived in vain.

I have spent my life dedicated to mothering a son who will grow into a man of God who will seek the Lord wholeheartedly and be gentle in spirit/strong in character.  I want a son who can do "manly" stuff with the best of them, but be kind enough to have compassion on those who need it.(often his three sisters.) Yes, he's been surrounded by girls day in and day out; that's why we are involved in Boy Scouts. Only men, like my husband and other godly Dad's, can teach our boys how to be the men they're supposed to be, but I can promise you, my son will know the ins-and-outs of living with women.

He's my treasure, but more importantly, He's the sheep of the Lord's, not his Momma's.

Psalm 100:3

Know that the LORD, He is God;It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.


Sweet Tea said...

We have only homeschooled for one year and so far I have never had to defend our choice, however some of the extended family "poo poo" our daughter's grades saying she doesn't earn them, but instead "her Momma gives her grades". She doesn't make straight A's and I do not GIVE her a grade. We just laugh off their remarks rather than try to defend. I used to be one of those who had preconcieved notions about homeschoolers, boy was I WRONG!

Joywriter said...

I love this post -- I have two grown-up "boys" who are manly young men. They went to public school, but that does nothing to instill masculine qualities. Yay for dads!

LydiaCate said...

What a neat experience to visit with your neighbors and their friends. Sounds like you handled the questions like a champ. As a fellow home educator I've also fielded such apprehensions. It's always interesting what people decide to hone in on. I'm just so thankful we all have the freedom to make the choices we feel are best for our own families.
Enjoyed the visit! Have a blessed weekend!