I’ve been reading the book How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids by Rachael Carman, owner of Apologia.
In Chapter 4 of her book, Rachael does a wonderful job of helping parents to realize that our children are really God’s children. She says that this is one of the ways we do right by our children. When I was younger, a friend of mine told me that she saw her children as belonging to God and that He had loaned them to her for a short time. I didn’t really get it. I kind of rejected that idea. But now I understand it a lot better – 15 or so years down the road.
I see a number of different ways of releasing children to God.
One of them is a gradual releasing that involves letting children start to make decisions for themselves. We raise them to pray about everything so that their decisions will more likely be God’s will for their lives and will lead to good things happening – the right things. We teach them to pray for direction and listen to what God is saying.
Another is letting God lead in their education. When we finally got settled at least temporarily in Kansas City (after traveling around from state to state and hotel to hotel), I asked my oldest son what he wanted to study. He said he just wanted to study the Bible. I was surprised. I wanted him to do a little more of some academic subjects, too, so I asked him to write about what he learned from his Bible study, and I asked him to do some math and science. But I have had to let go of lots of things and let God lead them in their studies because of the number of children I have and the constant changes we have gone through in the last 6 years. They have learned many new skills and developed interests that I have not been able to direct or even observe at times.
Another is to release them when they get older, and it’s time for them to do the thing that God has called them to do. We have always prayed that they would discover God’s will for their lives. I prayed for them when the older ones were young that God would reveal to them their gifts and talents and how He wants to use them to glorify Him.
The hardest is to say to the Lord, “This is your child. Do with him as You will. Not my will, but Yours be done.” I did this when they were younger when I dedicated them to the Lord. I consecrated each of my children to God for His plan and purpose for their lives. I put them in His hands. I have had to seriously consider letting my older children go and actually leave our home lately, and I must admit, it scared me. They’re not ready, and it’s my fault. I don’t know what they will do if they leave the safe haven of our home.
My husband is stepping in to suggest or demand some things that I haven’t made them do so that we can make sure they’re ready for life in the world. I hate to even think about such a thing. It’s ironic that I am experiencing this at the time that I’m reading this book. Some of the choices they are making and the things they’re becoming interested in are not what I would have chosen for them. But I’m just praying for God’s will to be done in their lives and that He will guide them in the way that they should go. I have had my faith tested yet again. This is probably the hardest test so far. But I trust God to take care of my children even when they leave my home and my care. I have had to face the real possibility in the last few days. Once again, I gave them to the Lord and said, “Yes, I trust You, God.”
Releasing our children to God is not a one-time thing. I have had to do it many times throughout the years. I release them to God, but I don’t release them to satan or the world. I will not turn them over to the godless educational system or to anyone who tries to draw them away from God. But the final release is up to them. When they are old enough, I will trust them to stay true to the Word of God which they have learned in our home and to seek His will for their lives. And I will trust God to equip them and carry them the same way He did for me when it was time. But not until it’s time.
I have linked this post to Women Living Well Wednesdays. Visit Courtney’s blog and see what other women bloggers are sharing about family, faith, marriage, parenting, etc.