I received a beautiful gift from God on our love for our children and am sharing with each of you.
Yesterday morning I was outside with Leo, one of our two dogs. My heart was touched three years ago by this little fur baby when we adopted him from a pet rescue outfit. We’ve had a couple pets in the past but I was never really an animal person so they never worked out.
I acknowledge my newfound love for pets is a gift from Christ and part of my transformation to become more like Him; therefore, He gets all the glory for changing my heart. We now have not one but two dogs in our home and they are both the greatest blessings from God.
So yesterday morning when Leo and I were outside, God spoke directly to my heart. He showed me how much love I have in my heart for Leo and He didn’t just leave it there.
He went on to show me that my love for my dogs is absolutely unconditional.
I have no expectations for how either of them should “grow up” and I have not planted any of my dreams in their hearts. No “suggested” thoughts or opinions on their choice of friends, careers, clothing, or anything else.
They are simply allowed to be who GOD created them to be.
We do not hold them to the standard of who their “parents” think they should be. They are not measured horizontally against peers or anyone else in this world.
As God was speaking to my heart, I was standing in our backyard in the morning sunlight with the crisp dew covered grass at my feet. It was very early and all was quiet in our neighborhood. That is, all was quiet outside.
But on the inside, my heart was dancing with joy over this revelation.
It is pure freedom for a mom. And this is exactly what Christ wants for each of us. Freedom. Release. Rest.
The Apostle Paul understood freedom possibly more than any other human being ever.
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Listen! I, Paul, tell you this; If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you.
Before Paul became “Paul,” he was Saul and he persecuted Christians. He was so completely sold on the law that he could not see that he was in slavery with no hope for true freedom. That is until he had a personal encounter with Jesus. When he had that personal encounter, he understood freedom and until his death, he shared the message of freedom – GRACE – with everyone.
God gave me a deeper revelation of this message of grace yesterday morning.
I have three children who are all young adults finding their way in college or starting careers. It’s so hard to step back and not interject what I think is best for them. But I must step back.
I need to lay down all ideas and thoughts I might have about their future. Their future doesn’t belong to me. It doesn’t even belong to them.
Their future belongs only to God and only God can direct as He knows best.
Only God is truly in control of anything ~ and everything.
Only God knows the beginning from the end.
Only God is Sovereign.
If you are a parent reading this, my hope is that you will also get this deeper revelation of love for our children. Love God’s way!
As a parent, it is so easy to interject ourselves as God in our children’s lives. It is also dangerous. And it is linked back to what Paul mentions in the verse above, those things that keep us in slavery. In Paul’s case, he was in slavery to the law. The law was the Mosaic law of do’s and don’ts that the Jewish people followed. The purpose of the law was to protect and guard the people until Jesus came to make us right with God. However, the law could not save us and make us right with God.
Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.
We know from Scripture that Jesus came to fulfill the law. He took our place and set us free from the bondage and trap of all the rules and regulations that have no power to set us free.
Freedom is only found in Jesus.
So why do we put slavery back into our relationship with our children? What do I mean by this? When we impose OUR dreams and plans on our children, we are putting our children in bondage. We know from the Scripture above that the law was to protect and guard people until Jesus came. This is what we are trying to do too – protect and guard our children. However, when we do this, we are telling God to back off because we can do a better job at managing their lives than He can do. OUCH. I know that hurts but it is truth.
Let me put it another way. Do you worry about what your kids are going to do in their future? If your kids are in college, do you worry obsessively about how they are doing? Do you worry about them finding the right job or how they are doing if they have a good job?
When you are with your children, do you feel the need to always offer advice? Do you think that if they are not doing things the way you think they should then they are doing them wrong?
How is your well-meaning advice received and does it cause tension and stress in your relationship?
I think I can take a guess at the answer to this last question. I’ve seen it in the relationships with my own children. So how do we change things?
We have to stop playing God in their lives. Period.
To do this, we must keep our focus on Jesus. We must abide in Christ and let Him guide us in ALL areas of our life, including our love for our children. He will nudge us when we need to speak and also when we need to stay silent. We need to take all of our worries and concerns for our children to God working them out in our prayer closet.
The only way to do parenting is God’s way.
God has big dreams and plans for each of us, including our children. Whose dreams and plans are best? Ours or God’s? Let’s vow today to get out of God’s way and let Him place HIS dreams into our childrens’ hearts.
Here is a prayer full of powerful Scripture for all of us to pray for ourselves as parents and for our children:
Thank You for being Sovereign and in control of all things. We thank You for all of our children and lift them each up to You and ask that You bless them and keep them, make Your face shine upon them and be gracious to them, turn Your face toward them and give them peace.
We thank You for making them strong and courageous and helping them to not be afraid or discouraged and for being with them wherever they go. Thank You for never leaving them nor forsaking them.
Lord, we ask that You protect our children, keep them from all harm and watch over their coming and going both now and forevermore.
Please surround them by so great a cloud of witnesses, let them also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let them run with endurance the race that is set before them, fixing their eyes on Your Son Jesus.
Father, let our children only fear You and serve You faithfully with all their heart. Let them consider what great things You have done for them. We ask that You surround them with those who are wise so they will become wise and we ask that You keep fools far away from them. Place people in their lives who will speak Jesus, love and life.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and Your love, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with each of them at all times.
And Father, for us parents, let us be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Keep us in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because we trust in You. And as we trust in You with all of our heart, help us to not lean into our own understanding and to submit all our ways to You as You make our paths straight.
For we were called to freedom but help us to not use our freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love to serve one another. We know that in the Body of Your Son Jesus, we are called to encourage and edify one another. Help us parents to pray for and lift one another up to You for Your strength and wisdom.
We thank You that Your Words says all our sons will be taught by You, and great will be our children’s peace. Please let Your blessings, love and Presence be with our children and family, as we lay down our own agenda to honor and surrender all to You.
In Jesus’ Name we pray.
Stay in the Love and the Light Always,
Scripture used in prayer above: Numbers 6:24-26; Joshua 1:9; Hebrews 13:5; Psalm 121:7-8; Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Samuel 12:24; Prov. 13:20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; James 1:19; Isaiah 26:3; Proverbs 3:5-6; Galatians 5:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Isaiah 54:13.
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