I vividly remember Nathan’s first day in highschool. That was four years ago. I said goodbye wondering if he would even survive his first hour. Nathan spent most of his gradeschool years in homeschool and some years in a small Christian school that had a population of 300. The school we enrolled him in for highschool, Ateneo de Manila University, had 40 students in a class, and 600 students for the 1st year alone!
The first few weeks of transition was not easy at all. Nathan would often plead with me to pull him out and homeschool him again. He was in a culture that was very different from what he was used to at home and in church. But Paolo and I were convinced in our hearts that he had to stay in that big school.
There were many days when Nathan would tell me he spent his lunch break in the library because someone brought an “adult” magazine to class again. He constantly faced the pressure to drink at parties and to give answers out during exams. A few times he was the topic on his classmates’ facebook thread and was being falsely judged as self-righteous because of how he stood by his convictions. These things went on for a while until I think, his classmates got used to him. And soon enough, he learned how to relate to the world while not being swallowed up by it.
As his mom, I am amazed at how Nathan remained strong and steadfast in the midst of temptation. He could never have done it on his own. God’s amazing grace in his life, our training, reminders and prayers, his spiritual family… all these things played a part. When Nathan spoke in Ignite, and declared that “My relationship with God is more valuable than any of the temporary pleasures that this world has to offer,” it dawned on me… THIS IS IT! This is what Paolo and I have been building in his life all these years, and we finally get to see it! It brings us great joy to see that our son really loves God and has a personal relationship with him! (If I boast, I boast in the Lord!)
I can never emphasize it enough… we need to make this our priority! Deuteronomy 6:5,7 says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength… Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Our number one goal as parents is to direct our children to God. And when they have their own relationship with Him, when they love Him above all else, when they submit to His Word, we can be confident that they will ultimately choose to do what honors Him, what pleases Him, not self, not man.
Nathan started college this week. Though he’s starting strong, we want to make sure he finishes strong. Our job is not done. We need to keep nurturing his relationship with God. We need to remind him to put God first in everything. We need to keep him connected with his spiritual family. Though a good foundation has been laid, we need to keep building.
Psalm 127: 1 Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
To read Mom the Builder (part 1), click here.