My eldest daughter celebrates her 16th birthday this next week. In the excitement of the occasion, I got a bit behind on my Bible reading. I opened my Bible this morning and these were the first words that I read. As I read them, I became convinced that the Holy Spirit gave me this verse, for this moment as a mother.
As a mother, much thought and effort go into raising my children. As a person who loves math, I often wish that there was a formula for it. It would go something like this: do this, add in that, take away this, multiply by that, for an outcome of an adult who loves Jesus with all their heart and makes impeccable life choices. However, in all my observation and questioning of parents with children in different stages of life than mine, I have been resigned to the fact that no formula exists.
It would be much easier to parent, if the Bible gave step by step instructions. A to do list, that began at a baby’s birth and continued through adulthood. Yes, the Bible contains all the wisdom I need to raise children, yet, there are still many difficult situations and decisions to be made.
If I were to be honest about the most difficult aspect of parenting to me personally, it would be letting go. I find it easier during the baby, toddler, and elementary years of maximum control and involvement in my children’s lives. The harder aspect is the releasing control, allowing them to make their own decisions, watching them mature into their own people, which takes place as they grow throughout their teenage years. I know it is my goal as a parent, to grow my daughter into an independent adult who loves Jesus. I know my daughter has proven to me in every way, that she is capable. It is just not very natural for me. I truly believe that the best things I can do for my children are: point them to Jesus, pray for them, and trust God with their lives. I cannot control everything, however, God has a plan for their future, and has each one of my babies in His hand. So easy to understand…yet so difficult to practice! I prayed these words over my Hannah today…
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.