Just recently, a picture of the girls showed up in my Timehop app. My youngest was a little over a year old, and my oldest was two and a half years old. As I reminisced at how small they were, I kept repeating, “Goodness, they have grown so much.” The Holy Spirit softly said to me, “Yes, they have grown physically, but how are they growing spiritually?” Whoa! I wasn’t ready for that.
Do you understand that your child does not belong to you and getting them ready for Christ begins when they enter into this world?
As parents, we put so much emphasis on our child’s physical, emotional, and social growth. But what about their spiritual growth? Do we think that their relationship with Christ will just happen because of a praying grandmother, Vacation Bible School, a few scriptures here and there, Sunday School, church or a few conversations about Christ riding in the car home from school?
In 1 Samuel 1, Hannah prayed to the Lord for a son and asked Him to remember her. She promised that she would give him back to the Lord for all the days of his life. Hannah understood that the child she prayed for was not hers but he was God’s. She didn’t promise to give Samuel to God when he turned 18; she promised to dedicate him back to the Lord as soon as he entered into the world.
So many of us go through with the beautiful ritual of dedicating our children back to the Lord. We dress them in their white christening outfits, go before the church to dedicate the beautiful baby, take pictures, and then we go on with life. But there is more. God requires more from you as a parent. He wants you to be committed to teaching your child that he/she was created in the image of God, loved by Him, is holy, righteous, and must live a life of obedience in His will. As a parent, this means that you are saying that you will do everything in your power to make sure that your child doesn’t just know about God, but that your child has a relationship with Him.
Think about it. You only have 18 years to train up your child in the way they should go. To some, that may seem like a long time, but honestly, time moves quickly. I still can’t believe that the children I carried a few years ago are now eight & ten years old. I am now more determined than ever to spend my days doing everything I can for them to have a solid relationship with Him. I know that my children do not belong to me. My purpose is to teach them that they were not called to live a life that they want but to live the life that God wants for them. For them to see this, I have to be the example by taking the time to read the word with them. I also have to discipline them in a way that calls them up and not out (even though I miss the mark so many times), teaches them how to produce the fruits of the spirit and remind them that they are a representation of Christ made in His image. Every day is not perfect, but it is a day filled with purpose to lead your children to God.
As you continue to mold your child in every area of their lives, remember that the most important task for you as a parent is to get them ready for eternity.
Look at their sweet faces and remember that their existence is a prayer that God answered for you.