Disappointment at Home: But What if They *Don’t*?

I’m not sure why, but that phrase always brings to mind a vision. A vision … of cartoon vegetables.

I suppose it may indicate that my children have watched Veggie Tales’ version of Daniel and the Lion’s Den one too many times. But that is neither here nor there for my purposes today.

That particular phrase has been running through my mind a lot lately.  A series of disappointments started it whispering around the edges.  A more recent set of shocks made it speak more loudly.

“But, what if they don’t?”

If you’ve never had the privilege of watching (or reading) this fabulous rendition of the Bible story, let me give you the rundown.  Daniel and his friends, popularly known as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, have been taken away to Babylon, where the king is in need of a fresh set of faces for his advisory court.  The native Babylonians are not happy about this arrangement–especially the ones who are already part of the council. To make matters worse, the new counselors are clearly superior to the old.  So when their insecurity becomes more than they can bear, they come up with an idea.  The Hebrews are known to worship one God.  This is in stark contrast to the Babylonian tradition, wherein the favor of many “gods” is regularly entreated through supplication to a plethora of idols. The Babylonian wise guys go to the king with a kindly suggestion that appeals to his vanity . . . he should build a giant statue.  Of himself.  Erect it in the middle of the city.  And tell everyone that when they hear the musical announcement, they’re to bow down and worship it.

The king, of course, thinks this is a GREAT idea.  What could be better?  A giant statue of himself–in gold, nonetheless!–and all his subjects bowing down in obeisance.  But then . . .  a shadow crosses his face.  You can see the wheels turning in his head.  Finally, he speaks the question I’ve been asking myself for the past few weeks:

“But, what if they don’t?”

Nebuchadnezzar loves the idea of people bowing down to him.  But he’s been king long enough to realize that making a law isn’t necessarily a guarantee that said law will be followed.

I wonder if we’re as wise as he, as Christian moms.

   We work hard.  We put personal dreams/goals/desires on hold while we prioritize our kids, and we do it joyously because having a strong, loving, God-honoring family has become our dream/goal/desire, anyway–and that’s as it should be.  We pour into them; we pray, and work, and teach, and disciple, and pray, and teach, and work, and disciple, for years and years.  Because we love them.  Because we desire to do what we believe God’s called us to do. 

   There are also some reasons in our hearts that we may not truly even know we’re harboring.  We work so hard because we believe a+b=c.  We have read the books, and listened to the speakers, and believe that if only we work hard enough at discipling and even homeschooling and pouring into their lives and all that entails, our kids will be . . . well, we know better than to expect perfect.  But they’ll at least be good.  They’ll embrace our convictions.  They’ll understand our rules and follow them joyfully.  They’ll rise up and call us blessed.

   But, what if they don’t?”

    Maybe we have more in common with Nebuchadnezzar than we think.

   What happens when things go wrong?  What happens when the math book is lost and the portfolios are due tomorrow, or when the house persists in looking like the before pictures for some wacky reality show, or the baby eats someone’s homework?  Ya good so far? 

  Okay, how about when the standardized test results come back as less than stellar, or your child spends two years trying to “get” the need for punctuation at the end of a sentence, or some lame-brained youth leader tells your child they’re somehow less than everyone else because they’re homeschooled–and they believe him?  Still with us?  Okay, what about when your kids’ friends start dropping like flies–to alcohol, or to se*ual experimentation, or to lying, or to self-destructive behaviors?  What if those are his friends from church? What if they’re his homeschooled friends?

   What if your child joins them?

   Here’s where conviction kicks in.  When a+b does NOT equal c, because human beings aren’t as simple as integers.  When you’ve done all you thought you needed to do, and it looks like it didn’t work.  The time to think all this through is before it happens, because when the temptation comes to throw in the towel, it will come in like a flood, and your anchor must be sure. 

   If you are homeschoooling or discipling your children a certain way because you’re expecting a guaranteed result, it might be a good idea to spend some time in prayer about that.  Because there are no guarantees but one: if you are educating and discipling and training your children at home because God told you to, then when you stand before Him, you can say “I educated and discipled and trained my children at home, because You told me to.”  And He will say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”

   And that will be enough.

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17 Responses to Disappointment at Home: But What if They *Don’t*?

  1. Diana B says:

    Thank you for the inspiring words this morning!!  I love the “Motherhood is not for sissies”! 

  2. Chelsea says:

    good stuff Misty, definitely had that question run through my mind more times than I care to admit.  Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Chrisgan5 says:


  4. Heather says:

    Preach it, Misty!  I have a friend I need to pass this along to today.  Thanks!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Love this and well said.

  6. Rob Krasawski says:

    You’re the best mom ever…..

  7. Nkespino5 says:

    This will OFICIALLY be framed on my wall!!! Thank you Misty for walking through these hard things and sharing your God given wisdom!! Just what I needed today :)

  8. Sandra says:

    Thank you soo much for these words. We have been convicted to pull our 3 out of school and start teaching them at home. Public school is becoming a very hard place to be a Christian for my children. But what if they don’t…like it…thrive…listen to me…learn….are all the words we have been saying. But what if they DO???? and it really doesn’t matter because God wants us to do this, that we are sure of. Thanks for this. It has encouraged us

    • Bless you, Sandra. It’s a big decision, and one that will take a lot of determination. Knowing its God’s direction for you is definitely the most important thing! I pray He guides you clearly and that this blog continues to be an encouragement!

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