Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Can't Save My Children

I don't know about you, but one of my greatest desires for my children is that they would live better lives than I did when I was young.
Though I grew up going to church, I didn't begin a relationship with God until I was in college. Now, I see the opportunities my children have to grow in the LORD, to know Him, to grow in godliness, and I just want for them to seek Him.
When I think about the priorities I had as a teenager (read that: BOYS! Often at the expense of other relationships.) and the focus I had on trying to fit in - to be like everyone else - I want so much more for my children. I want them to have confidence in who they are in Christ. I want them to pursue the things of God. I want them to value the eternal, not the temporal.
And I wrack my brain trying to orchestrate ways for all that to happen.
I want to say the right things, provide the right opportunities, shield the wrong things, and demonstrate a life surrendered to God.
I just don't want my kids to make the same mistakes stupid decisions I did when I was their age.

But as I was thinking about this desire recently, it occurred to me that I can't save my children. And, in fact, I don't even need to. Jesus has already done it!
God's grace was big enough to capture me in spite of my foolishness. His love for me was stronger than my sense of independence. And He will be the same with my children.
That does not mean for a single minute that I am going to stop leading and teaching and guiding. Oh, no! It does mean, however, that I am going stop thinking I have control over my children's eternity. Oh, I will continue to pray for them - that they may make "good" decisions and walk closely with the LORD. But God is leading me to understand that He might allow my children to wander, and He is able to use anything they encounter for their ultimate good - and His glory.

*Whew!* God is really dealing with me on my control issues lately.
I'm so glad I can trust His perfect control!



AmberRay said...

I have had to come to this realization not too long ago myself. Thanks for posting. I will also try to teach them the best way I can with God's help but I know I cannot control any mistakes or stumbles they make along the way.

gianna said...

Proverbs is full of wisdom about if you raise your children in the Lord, they will not depart from it. While it doesn't guarantee it, you have pretty good odds with the Lord on your side. I think about this all the time as I screw up frequently!

Karen Hossink said...

AmberRay - We can't go wrong when we're trusting in God!

Gianna - And HE is on our side - leading, guiding, and protecting. I need to remember this when I don't understand the way things are going.

Sara K. said...

Oh Karen... I could have written that first paragraph myself. A big DITTO on that! Parenting can be agonizing because of that very thing! YET, you nailed it on the head: WE can't save our children, only God can. (One of our pastors has said, "You can influence, but you cannot control.") Thank you for the encouraging reminder that we can/should do OUR part, but leave God's part to GOD! (That's the changing-molding-growing-the-heart part.)

Love you!

Karen Hossink said...

Sara - *Whew!* It's been agonizing this morning here. Oh, how I want to control actions and 'force' good decisions.
But I can't.
Trusting You, LORD, with these children!