From the moment of cognition until the day we die, we make choices. What to wear, who to have a relationships with, what to do, when to wake up, when to go to bed, the list is endless. But with choices come responsibility. With responsibility comes maturity. As a wife and mom it is sometimes easier to make choices for my husband and children, but by doing so, I rob them of a chance to grow. Growing includes making mistakes. Making mistakes is a privilege of making choices. and from our mistakes we can learn valuable lessons.
Each of my sons had to make their own choices about college. We offered advice and asked questions to help them make the best decisions, but ultimately, the choice was theirs. They each paid their own way through college and knew before hand what to expect with each choice before them. They all worked while attending college. One son worked two 40-hour jobs each summer and got through will little debt by doing odd jobs during the school semesters and with scholarships. He taught debate to get a free Master’s degree and got a couple years of law school free by working for the law firm that supported the college. (See picture of Garrett and me at the University of Hawaii Law School.) Another got in on a scholarship to judge animals which he had never done before. He learned a lot and finished up with a degree in animal science. Others took on a lot of debt and are working and paying it back. Each choice led to consequences that they knew ahead of time.
I faced the same decision when I graduated from high school. I was accepted to Trinity University in Chicago, had scholarships lined up and was ready to go. I was not given a choice, but was told that I would attend the local junior college where I could play softball under the coach for the PanAm Games and be on a full scholarship. I was very disappointed. But God was in control! It was the toughest year of my life with some poor decisions on my part and some unfortunate circumstances. After the first semester we realized that my shoulder was too hurt to play ball. In the meantime, my parents had moved to Brownwood, TX where Howard Payne University, a Christian college, was located. I moved down with them and got in at HPU where I met my wonderful husband of 33 years. Even though I was not allowed to make a decision, God was still in control, and He honored my desire to obey my father.
I made the choice to obey my dad and learned that God is in control over all things. If I had made a different decision, my life would have been much different! Whether the choices of life are our own, or they are made for us, God will use them for our good. However, seeking wisdom from God before the decision is made is much better than asking for forgiveness after making a bad decision. Seek wisdom. She can be found!
Hint for the Day: When your children are small, let them make decisions whenever you can. But make them small and make sure that you can live with the choices! For example, offer him/her two shirts (either of which would be appropriate). Let them decide. Don’t tell them they can wear whatever they want unless you don’t mind taking them to the grocery store in camo pants and a ballerina tutu over a t-shirt! My sister made that mistake once and took her son to Krogers in his pajamas with his underpants on the outside! He was being a super hero!