This week, in How To Have a H.E.A.R.T For your Kids, we are reading the chapter on RELEASE.
Rachael opens us with the story of Hannah and Samuel
Misunderstood by Eli, she is accused of being drunk…as she sits weeping before God begging for a child…. And at last, her prayers are answered, and she makes a promise….to hand him over for God’s work. At a young age, as soon as he is weaned…she does just that. She hands over her young son….to become a man of God.
Can you imagine? Knowing, truly, from the moment your babe is born….you have to hand that sweet child over?
Have you handed a child over?
Perhaps lost one. Our first little one….I had no choice….never held the babe…and the loss of that child still resonates….but, I know God has a plan for all things. While I long to hold that child, I am blessed with the three who came after….
Rachael….she talks about her children being little and thinking….it will get easier. I had those thoughts, too. When they were born… ‘it will be easier when they sleep through the night’…… ‘it will be easier when they are potty trained’……it will be easier when…..’ and really, it never gets ‘easier’…but, she brings to light the fact that things don’t get easier….it’s no longer about teaching them to eat or talk, use a potty or share….it’s about the heart.
The talks…you know the talks…if not, you are not far behind me, can be short…or take a very long time. With one of our children…they began early. And I’m blessed. Daddy has been the one to stay up late with one of our children….I’m not talking about short talks…I mean 1-2 hour conversations…hurts from the day, questions…. and I’ll be honest, it’s not getting easier.
I’m thankful for the grace and beauty of having a child from birth and the opportunity to grow, as a parent…with my children.
Like Hannah, I want to raise my children for God. They are merely on loan to me. Yes, they grew inside my body, but the Creator of the Universe…HE created them…for his purpose and glory…not mine. And, I have to say…that’s a good thing because I fall short daily…and I am so thankful that God can and will overcome all of my shortfalls…to bring my children to him, to woo him.
My job…is to prepare them for the plan he has for their lives.
My goal…is not to raise them to be Dr’s or Lawyers…unless that is HIS plan for them. When I sit and consider…all that I have to teach for homeschool…I can become overwhelmed, scared….and it can cause me to stress and take the joy out of the day. But, when I focus on what is truly important…their hearts, the eternal impact of each moment….getting a grammar lesson right the first time or a math problem wrong for the 10th time…suddenly becomes less stressful. What will be most important is how their hearts grow during those moments. Are they learning to be diligent…to understand that all truth and knowledge come from God and to seek him first…to fear him, not to be afraid, but to learn true obedience and to grow in knowledge, because only then can their sweet minds and hearts truly open to the knowledge and wisdom he desires to impart in them!
“The Bible teaches that narrow is the path that God has set for us to follow (Matthew 7:13). This doesn’t sound so bad until you look around to find yourself alone, or you come to a crossroads and find friendships divided by the choice, often over issues of holiness or purity. We need to pray that God, His Word and His faithfulness, will guide the decisions our kids make at the inevitable intersections of life and that they will have faith in Him alone-the one, true, and living God…..” (pg 140-141)
That to me…sums up the challenges of being a parent raising children for God. it doesn’t matter if you homeschool, go to a Private Christian school, Public School or charter, if you go to church or not…. the path is narrow. Our children must know where to find the path…who designed it….and to build a relationship with him. Regardless of what they end up doing in this life, if their foundation is not based on Him, their souls that are at risk….. They must see us…on our knees in front of the great physician, acknowledging our own dependence on Him…..seeking Him first and foremost……as we, like they……are merely children of God…with a choice to seek him….or not.
Are you reading the book? What are your thoughts on releasing your child (or children) and what are you doing now to prepare them to release them into the world for his plans?
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