By Brooke Borke
Years ago I read this quote in a book, “There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: roots and wings.”
I remember jotting it down in my journal and thinking it might come in handy someday. Fast forward eight years; as I prepare to send off my first child to college, 951 miles away from home. Being that I consider myself an organized person, it was easy making to-do lists and checking them off. From the first paper that started what I thought would be the never-ending process of admissions to the finite detailed list of what to pack to the logistics of travel – it seemed I had it all under control.
Let’s travel back seventeen years ago before our daughter was born. I can’t count the number of pregnancy books I read that imparted wisdom on what to expect when you’re expecting. There were daily readings on what growth you can expect for both mother and baby. But the funny thing is the baby isn’t born with an instruction manual – or is he? I am however, eternally grateful for the Lord saving both my husband and me while our children were under the age of three. Learning that the Word of God is the instruction manual for life we have been able, with the Lord’s help, to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” ~ Ephesians 6:4
Just days after my daughter graduated from high school the spiritual battle winds began to blow; starting as a slight breeze but over time turning into a prevailing wind. Satan knows no boundary, and he always seems to attack the weakest link. So who was the weakest link? It could have been any one of us in our house. This caused our entire family to stop and assess where we were with our spiritual walk with the Lord. These battles are what drew us together as a family for what I call our “daily kitchen table discussions.” The Lord knew just exactly what was going on the whole time. He was growing us not only independently but as a family. We sought the scriptures for truths and guidance in every decision we made. We saw our daughter’s walk with the Lord grow and her desire to let Him lead in her decision making.
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” ~3 John 1:4
Hind sight always reveals the Lord’s hand in these situations, but during the battle we often times forget. Through many tears of frustration, anger, and disappointment (for all parties involved), the Lord grew and stretched us in ways that only He could. We as parents had to learn how to allow our soon-to-be college student stretch her wings. Similar to that of a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis, it takes time for our children to learn how to use their wings after emerging from high school. With this comes struggle, failure, and heartache. What comfort it is to know that if you’ve poured the Word of God into your child’s heart at an early age it is much easier to navigate this process as the Lord is able to work in and through both parents and child.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” ~ Proverbs 22:6
Roots and Wings…..two simple words that describe the importance to give your children roots in the Word of God and wings to be able to navigate this world on their own!
**College report…after 4 weeks at college, both parents and daughter are still alive after what we thought might have killed us all as we drove off campus! It’s been such a blessing to my husband and me to see our daughter walk this new road with the Lord by her side. Of course there have been many difficulties during this time, but to see her grab on to the Lord, dig in to the Word, and listen to her parents brings us such joy! A mother holds her child’s hand for a little while, but their hearts forever!
TIP: May I encourage you that even during the child rearing days it may seem as if nothing is sinking in, there will be a time of great reward later when they see the reasons you set certain guidelines in their lives to protect them. Keep up the fight – it’s worth it…they’re worth it!
Brooke Borke is the mother of two tremendous kids, Madeline and Jack. She is married to her husband, Brad, of 20 years and has traveled the world with him during his military career. Upon her husband’s retirement in 2014, they moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where they are training for full-time ministry at Cleveland Baptist Church. She enjoys spending time with her family, adventures in food, cool weather, and a good cup of coffee! You’ll most likely find her, in her spare time, cheering on her kids on a sideline somewhere!