|Posted on March 6, 2021 at 3:50 PM|
Listening to a late-night Christian radio talk show, I heard an author say (and I’m paraphrasing a bit) “a woman who raises a son who chooses his spouse over her, blesses God’s heart. But a woman who raises a son who chooses her over his spouse, breaks God’ heart.” I wish I could remember who the speaker was, because the truth of those words has made me reevaluate and reassess a lot of my typical ‘mom’ thinking. I know for certain that I never want to break God’s heart, but it’s so difficult to raise our little ones knowing they are destined to leave us.
Raising a Godly child is not for sissies. There is a balance between being a helicopter parent and letting them get beat up by the world. Our sons and daughters are living in a culture that is no longer predominantly Christian. Worse, this is a time when our very Faith is being mocked and our core values are under attack.
We parents (aunts, grandparents, uncles, church family members, leaders,) have the precious assignment of discipling the generations that are following us. How can we possibly do that if we have no idea of what God wants from men and women. We have so blurred the lines that we are even questioning the basic roles of morality, gender and how God views us.
But we are all created in His image. Genesis 1:27 says “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” It’s easy to ask the question “why?” He spoke the rest of the universe into existence, but on the sixth day He reached down into the clay of the earth and formed a man. Then He breathed life into his nostrils and made mankind.
Scripture tells us that we were “knitted together in our mother’s womb.” No accident there. Ephesians 2:10 says we are His workmanship. And God created each of us with a purpose – not the same one for everyone – but the goal is always that we should be a mirror of Him.
So whether we feel equipped or not, we can’t do less for our children than to implant in them a picture of who they are. Children of God. We have them so short a time. We must nurture them, mold them, teach them and model what it looks like to be Godly reflections of our Father. Even when we’d rather leave the hard stuff to the school principal, their coach, their peers, or the babysitter. I can promise you this. The more the world plants in them, the shakier their foundation will be.
As hard as it is, we can’t keep them to ourselves, nurtured and sheltered from this frightening world. Our toughest job is to let them go. But not before we have planted a true picture of their identity deeply into their hearts. God is not ambiguous about who we are, and neither should we be.
When God assigns us the role of parent, He is entrusting us with our most precious commodity. Proverbs 22:6 says “train up a child in the way he should go even when he is old he will not depart from it.” And trust me, every word that comes out of our mouths, every sarcastic glance, and every kind deed is being measured and assessed. Our children will, by nature, imitate us. Can we take the risk that they aren’t seeing the God who dwells in us?
Like it or not, at some point our children are going to be (we pray) finding a godly spouse and leading our grandchildren – and their grandchildren. If we don’t model the kind of strength of character they need to possess, how will they survive?
Our economic status, physical prowess, beauty or education are all much less important than the intangibles we plant in our young – the sure knowledge of where their strength will come from and who they are in the Kingdom. Scripture isn’t grey, there are no moral questions left unanswered, and we have a sure foundation that can be taught. But only if we are courageous enough to do it and if we understand it ourselves.
Thankfully, we’re not asked to do it alone. We all must gather around the youth, arms linked, holding them up in prayer and by modeling the righteousness of God. And we need to hold fast to the promise found in Isaiah 54:14 that tells us “all your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.”
We may be faced with turning them out into a scary world, but at least we don’t have to let them go out unarmed.
Be blessed, my friend, God is on the throne.