Updated: Feb 9, 2019
2019, God gave me a word for this year “Intentional.” To be intentional in all that I do. One of the things He has been laying heavily on my heart also is to be intentional in my child rearing perspectives. You can have many callings on your life, but one of the most critical callings that God can ever give you is raising up the next generation that will significantly impact His Kingdom. You cannot expect to go out and do God’s work if you are quick to neglect the work He first called you to in raising the child or children He has given to you as gifts.
It wasn’t too long ago, God began to alter my heart in the way I saw my children. For many years my thought process looked something like this: “These are my kids, and I have to do everything in my power to make sure they grow up right, I have to do everything in my power to make sure they are safe, I have to do everything in my power they won’t get hurt.” How mentally exhausting is that?
But God is so gentle and is very patient with us because He knows, we as mothers have a hard time letting go of the attachments we have on our children because we naturally worry for them. We only want the best for them. We don’t want them to endure hardships or heartaches. And for some, we don’t want them to grow up and experience the same sufferings we did in our own childhood. And all of those wants are perfect to have. But any form of worry that is cultivated in our minds is a form of not trusting God. We need to change the way we see our children as being only ours, and I want to express to you why:
Thoughts of worry alone can put a lot of pressure on us as we strategize ways to create these abstract ideas of perfection that could never be. I came to realize, this protective bubble I wanted so bad wasn’t realistic. And ultimately, I was saying to God, no, I can’t trust you with my children because they are mine and mine alone.
We have to realize it will come to a point in our lives that some things will have to be left in God’s hands, He and only He will be able to do. There will come a point in our lives that some things may occur that would cause us to have no choice to trust God’s process and believe He is the one that is truly able to provide for our babies better than what you and I could ever do, even on our best days. You see, our children were His before they were ours and though He gave them to us, it was He who formed them, who gave them purpose, it is He who knows their life from the beginning to the end.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalms 139: 13-16
God knew our child/ren before we did. So, if He knows them better than we do ourselves then why should we not let Him show us how to raise them since it was He that placed them in our hands?
When we begin to come to the realization that our children were His before they were ours the controlling factors of our anxiety, the standards of this world, the worries of the “what ifs” begin to fade away, and that heavy primacy of our parenting perspective begins to lessen. When the worries become few as we allow Him to change our set thinking, that’s the beginning process of trusting God and believing that He does have a perfect plan for our children, and He perfects the things that which concern us.
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. Jerimiah 29:11-12 NKJV
The Hebrew word for peace is translated in the context that means health, welfare, prosperity and every kind of good because He is the God of Peace which means He is the author and giver of blessedness (Baker, W., & Zodhiates, S. 2008 p.2117). Scriptures declare that God himself said that His intentions are to stretch forth His peace that provides opportunities that one longs for. And God desires to do these things for particular sets of people, people who will call upon His name and pray to Him.
Parenting is not easy. Each child that has been given to you and me was intricately designed for us, everything to their personality, their strengths, their challenges, and who they are as an individual, and God knew that because it was who He fearfully and wonderfully made each one of them. And is why He purposely gave you that specific child to raise because He believed you were the best fit for the job.
I want to encourage you to stop worrying about the “what ifs” and start trusting God with our children because they were His before they were ours. And since He has entrusted us with His gifts, let’s be accountable to Him in prayer so that He may be answerable to His word that’s described in Jeremiah “health, welfare, prosperity, and every kind of good.” I encourage those of you whose children are still small and at home, take the time to not only pray for them but pray with them. Show them where the source of your help comes from so that this learned behavior grows with them from adolescents to young adults. And for the moms whose children are not in the home, please don’t underestimate the power of interceding prayer. Your prayers alone have the ability to create hopeful opportunities for their lives the kind of Life God desires for them. I pray that you stand with me in agreement, that we will start exchanging our worries for His truths, continue to pray with them at any chance given, and continue to pray for them for every circumstance.
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Baker, W., & Zodhiates, S. (2008). New Testament Dictionary . In The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.