Today my heart is just breaking!!
Have you ever found yourself in a place where you were taking on the feelings of those around you? I am a pretty spiritually sensitive person, but most days I can just lay those feelings at the cross and ask God to do what only He can do. Today their are so many emotions going on in me and I cant quite seem to lay them down at the moment.
Have you ever heard of righteous indignation? Well I am fully immersed and consumed by it at the moment. My husband and I are directors of kid-ministry at our church. Throughout our service, during prayer time and small groups, we had several children come to us with the look of dread in their little sweet faces. They were overwhelmed with fear. Unfortunately this fear was not due to trouble at home, or from being bullied. This fear was in regards to the STAR Test. Immediately after talking with these bright and amazing kid’s my blood just started boiling, and the more I have though about it the more I have decided that it is just not okay. Righteous indignation at it’s finest right here!!
I mean, I know that there are benefits to the STAR test some where. At least I think there are??? Okay maybe through the rose colored indignation lenses I am failing to see the benefit at the moment, so let me rant!! These children or preteens expressed their concern about failing and being unable to move to the next grade due to the STAR test. What are these teachers and school system telling our kids that is causing them to have such a sense of dread and fear? Or more importantly how are they telling them?
Now before someone gets all worked up because they are a teacher or know a teacher…….just stop right there! This is not about someones ability or lack their of to teach. This is about how we are addressing the value of our children in regards to the STAR test. I also know that not all teachers are created equal and there for, once again this blog post is not for or about teachers or school faculty.
My concern is for what standardized testing is doing to our children. Our kids are all unique, they all learn differently, and some do not test well but are ultimately bright children. I personally have a child that fits in that category. She is very bright and out going, but struggles with reading and testing. She has failed almost every STAR test she has ever taken. Last year she literally failed it by just a few points, and went through summer school again so that she could re-take the test and hopefully pass. Fortunately she did pass it the second time, and I pray that she passes the first time this year so she doesn’t need to go through summer school again, and she can enjoy her whole summer.
I also gave another child that is gifted and talented, and mastered her STAR test. Yet both children experience the same amount of stress and concern regarding this test. Honestly every year I get tired of seeing my children’s stress level increase by the truck loads. Not to mention there friends and the other kids around us. I think this whole STAR test thing has gone awry. I know that they meant well starting out.
So what can we do about it?? Well I’m not actually sure what we can do to stop the STAR test, but I know what we can do to prepare our kids to handle the stress that the STAR test brings.
It is our job as parents to guard and protect our children’s hearts. I find myself wanting to rescue them more and more in this crazy and morally confused world. But it is also our job to teach them how to handle these kind of situations using God’s wisdom and His word. It is our job to teach them that their identity is not in a test, or a grade.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mothers womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully sand wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Our children need to know the source of their identity, and that it is not in the STAR test. They need to know that God formed them, He sees them, He knows them. They need to know that God does not make mistakes, that His works are wonderful. We need to remind them that they were intricately made and designed before the foundations of the earth was laid. Our kids are not defined by a test, or a teacher and they need to know that.
If we are not intentionally discipling our children they will be consumed by the on onslaught of what the world says is truth. Do we really want our kid’s to believe that what the world says it who they really our?
What does God say?
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Our children need to know that no matter what the outcome of the STAR test, it does not change the plans that God has already laid out for them. No matter what kind of negativity a teacher or school system throws at our children they should walk into that test with confidence knowing that no matter what happens they are mighty! Our children should be so heavily prayed over and taught who they are that nothing the world can throw at them will penetrate the hedge you have surrounded them with. Let the enemy try to come after your kids, and then when he does he will realize that they are untouchable like he did when trying to get a hold of Job.
Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side?
Job was blameless, upright, and he feared God. Jobs kids weren’t perfect by any means, but it says that Job offered up burnt offerings, or prayers for his children. I prayed over his children every morning despite their behavior. These prayers are what put a hedge of protection around him and his family.
Take some time to memorize some scriptures regarding your children, and speak them over them anytime they are feeling disqualified by worldly standards.
The future is blessed for my child……….. Jeremiah 29:11
My child walks in favor with God and man……….. Luke 2:52
My child is destined to live in victory………….. Romans 5:17
My child lives n prosperity in any area…………..Psalms 35:27