“I prayed for this child.” 1Sa 1:27 NCV
Protectiveness is part of parenting. But unless you’re careful you can shield your kids from the very things they need to mature. Sheila Wray Gregoire says we should Surrender them to God. We think we control their futures, but most of the time they turn out differently than we planned. Samuel’s mother, Hannah, said: “I prayed for this child…Now I give him back to the Lord” (vv. 27-28 NCV). Whether He chooses to send them to the jungles of Africa…the inner city…or a house around the corner…God knows best. Live with hope, not wishful thinking. Trust God to use them and guide them through life, even if He never reveals how or why. From this perspective it’s easier to accept that circumstances don’t determine the final outcome; they’re just the tools God uses to shape character. Encourage responsibility. Letting kids experience consequence shows them what works and what doesn’t. For example, a tumble off the swing set teaches them not to be reckless…and that failure to study results in poor grades. “It is good for people to endure burdens when they’re young” (Lam 3:27 GWT). Kids who learn responsibility and independence early are better equipped to succeed. Pray often and with purpose. Instead of praying for his “spiritual children” to be spared persecution, Paul said: “My prayer [is] that your love…abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so…you may be able to discern what is best and…be pure and blameless until the day of Christ” (Php 1:9-10 NIV). Being a Christian doesn’t mean life is always easy. But when you, the parent, demonstrate faith in God, your kids learn to trust Him too.