Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Psalm 127:3--Who Do Your Children Belong To?

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward. -Psalm 127:3

Children are a heritage FROM THE LORD. How quickly as parents we are tempted to view children as ours rather than God's. When children are first born or adopted, we feel such a bond and connection with them; and we realize that we have been blessed by God--but this often does not last...When our son was born, I was in awe of how God had brought his life about. How he had transformed a single fertilized egg of one cell (having chosen long ago what DNA would come together in this incredible little person) into a baby who could scream, cry, breathe, eat, sleep, and grasp our fingers with his little hands. Life is a miracle; children are a gift. And that is without question even to the hardest of hearts. But do we really let this sink into our hearts as moms and dads?

Our son is still very young, and even still, I have felt my awe at God's power and presence in my son's life slowly grow cold. As we've gotten into the routine of diaper changing, bottle feeding, burping, playing, and nap-taking, it's easy to start to see him as ours--not God's. When he was in the womb, God was the sole party responsible for his development. But now it's Stephanie and I's responsibility--or so I'm tempted to think. I'm sure this gets harder as children get older. We think it is all up to us, that we are in charge, and we grow to be possessive of them.

But how would our parenting change if we were to remember constantly that our children are "a heritage FROM THE LORD"--that they are "a reward" from Him? What if we were just as aware of that with our teenagers as we were the day they were born? I think we would strive to have them honor God more than they honor us. His rules more than our rules. His desires more than our desires. We would take greater responsibility for their spiritual health and remember that our responsibility is to teach them to love their Creator more than it is to turn them into responsible American citizens. We would probably be less controlling and possessive of them.

The real test might come someday when our child decides to become a missionary and go to a far away land to share the gospel. Will we demand that as our child they stay close to home where they are "safe?" Or will we proudly support them as they honor their heavenly Father abroad?

What about when they get sick and suffer and possibly even die before we do? Will we shake our fist at God and demand that He answer us why He took our child? Or will we in time remember that our children are His first and foremost and that He loves them even more than we do, even when He lets them--and us--hurt?

Stephanie and I, each night before we tuck our son into bed, have developed a practice of saying, "Mommy and daddy love you very much, but we want you to know that Jesus loves you WAY more than we do." We want him from a very young age to know that ultimately he is God's more than he is ours.

So parents, today remember that your children are a gift "from the Lord." You have a responsibility to care for them and lead them, but they are God's more than they are yours.

1 comment:

Wilma Goodwin said...

WOW! Marc,

I enjoyed reading your post today titled Who Do Your Children Belong To?

I enjoy reading your articles. God sure has given you lots of insight when it comes to raising children and what God's plans are for all of our children.

You hit the nail right on the head with these good thoughts.

Thanks for the article. I loved what you wrote about what you tell Caleb each night when you tuck him into his bed. So precious!

You and Stephanie with God's help are going to be great parents. Caleb is a very lucky little baby boy.

Love all three of you,

Grandma Goodwin