My daughter just turned nine a few weeks ago, and it’s really been weighing on me in a hard way. I can’t stop thinking about the fact that in nine more years, she very well could be moving out of our home and into the next stage of her life.
I too often feel the pressure to produce character in her. Adam and I have desires for our kids and we want them to grow up becoming the kind of people we imagined they’d be…respectful, loving, thankful, kind, honest adults. We find ourselves modeling, implementing incentives, reading and following lots of advice. Can you relate?
Too often I make their character, faith, hope for the future all about me…not them. But, we are not in control. The Bible states in Philippians 1:6, 9–11:
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ… And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
As is stated clearly, God is the one who begins the good work within our kids. Not us. Also, God will continue to work in their lives, and no matter what, He will not give up on them but continue to see His work uncovered until the day Christ returns.
God wants our hope secured in HIM, not in ourselves. He wants us to trust Him with the kids He has given to us. Allowing these words to resonate in my life brings me great hope and puts my anxiety, fear, and worry away.
But I’m also reminded that this doesn’t mean my efforts are unimportant. I will continue modeling the things I’m saying to them. I’m sure we’ve all learned what you do carries far more influence that what you say. Adam and I will continue strengthening and doing all we can to keep our family healthy. I’m also continually needing to step back and ensure I’m not controlling the situation. Control never creates healthy relationships, but rather compliance or rebellion.
Picturing our daughter’s journey, we want to teach her to embrace her story and to acknowledge God’s presence woven throughout it. We want to pray for her to trust and believe that all circumstances, all joys, and all pains are part of The Big God Story, as well as the story our big God has mapped out for her. God makes no mistakes or missed steps; He sees everything, equips us, guides us, and builds us for the story He has prepared just for us.
When we embrace the truth that God is in control, we relinquish the heart of our child into the hands of our all-loving and powerful God. When we remember His sovereignty, we stop wanting to compose our child’s story, and we become grateful God never gave us the pen.