“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.”Psalm 127:3 NIV
I have been reading about Abraham lately with fascination of the promise made to him. He was referred to as ‘good as dead’ when he received the promise that he would be the father of many nations. Yet he had a son at the age of 100. The part that boggles my mind though is when God asked him to make Isaac a burnt offering to the Lord, his only son, and he was willing.
If you aren’t familiar with the story, he didn’t have to do that. God stopped him at the 11th hour and provided a ram as a sacrifice. Still, I am not sure my faith would be strong enough to make the choice to do what God asked in that situation.
The privilege of having children is a gift from God. Sometimes people think children are their own doing and God had nothing to do with it. The danger that occurs from that is that our children can become our hope and our standard. ‘Our expectations can crush them because we love them too much and we love God too little in relationship to them. ‘ Timothy Keller
If we don’t love our kids through the lens of God’s love for us, we can become slaves to them. I have experienced both ends of this spectrum. I am blessed to have 3 gifts from God, 2 are grown adults, 1 a teenager. I raised my first two, 8 and 10 years of their lives with absolutely no lens of God filtering my parenting.
Unfortunately for them I expected that having kids would make me happy. Little did I know I was trying to fill wounds by making ‘perfect’ children.
I recently heard a quote from Lecrae that has rocked my thinking in many areas.
Believe the best about people. Pray for their shortcomings. YOU ARE NOT THE STANDARD. We all need grace.
Guess which line jumped out at me. You see as I raised my girls and had no other source of hope, I thought I was the standard and they had to live up to that. In return I had many unrealistic expectations of their behaviour and actions.
Once my son came along, I found Jesus when he was a baby and God became my hope. His word became my standard. I learned to have my expectancy in Jesus, not solely in my child.
I don’t live in regret, guilt or shame of the mistakes I made parenting. I know all around I did what I thought was best and God filtered the rest. Did I make mistakes, absolutely. Do I still, yes.
Now I am more aware of my own sin and that lowers the standard a lot. In a lot of areas, not just parenting. It is very easy to make our children little g gods. ‘You shall have no other gods before me’ Deuteronomy 5:7. This includes children we may put first before God.
I used to put my children before everything until I had revelation that I am not the standard. God’s standard that has brought much fruit in my life and parenting is love God, love my husband, love my children. In that order.
Only by an increasing revelation of Gods love and sacrifice for us will we be able to experience the willingness to lay our children down and trust God with them.
Seek Him. Seek His standard. Seek His love. Your children will be blessed by it.