There are great joys in being a parent. You watch them grow up and develop their personalities. Your hope as a parent is that you are doing the right things for them. You want to ensure that you are teaching them the correct values and that they understand what is happening in the world around them. Parents desire to ensure their children are well-rounded and can interact with all people positively. There is a strong desire to protect them and keep them safe at all costs. No parent wants to see their child picked on or treated unfairly. We tend to carry our children close to our hearts. The degree of protection tends to go to another level when we find that our children are in trouble or going through things. We want to fix whatever is wrong. It becomes our duty to right whatever the wrong is. We want them to know that we are there and have their backs. As a transparent moment, I will raise my hand as a first to all of the above.
I was a single mother for about ten years. When I graduated high school, I turned nine months pregnant. After having my oldest son, I then gave birth to my youngest son the following year. I felt my responsibility was to ensure they were cared and provided for. As they became adults, I endured the growing pains of letting them go. It was not easy! I knew what was out in the world that they were going into. If I may be honest, I was scared for them. I wanted them to be okay. I could talk for hours about my fears as a parent. After a while, God had to deal with me and remind me that my sons were entrusted to me, but they belong to Him!
Recently, I was reading the story of Abraham and Isaac and began to see this story in a different light. Abraham was a great man of faith, and he trusted God. God promised Abraham that He would make him the father of many nations. God told Abraham and Sarah that they would give birth to a son. God kept his promise. Abraham was 100 years old, and Sarah was 90 years old. If you know the story, Abraham had another son before he had Isaac. Abraham and Sarah tried to have a baby, but Sarah did not become pregnant. Sarah decided to take matters into her own hands by bringing another woman named Hagar into the equation. Long story short, Hagar gave birth to Ishmael. The thing that stood out to me as a parent, is that Abraham had to trust God with his two sons. Genesis 21:9-21 talks about Sarah becoming upset one day when she caught Ishmael poking fun at her son, Isaac. Sarah told Abraham that Hagar and her son Ishmael had to go because her son, Isaac, would not share an inheritance with Ishmael. This pained Abraham. I can only imagine how he felt because although Ishmael did not come from his wife, Ishmael was his firstborn son. He had a relationship with him, and now his wife wanted him gone. Even back then, there was baby mama drama! God spoke to Abraham and reassured him that Ishmael would be okay because Ishmael belonged to Abraham.
Let’s look at the words just because Ishmael belonged to Abraham. Your children are blessed just because they are your seed. Proverbs 11:21 says “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.” God will take care of our children because they are connected to us. When we as parents are connected to the right source (God), everything flows down to our children. Does that mean that they will not rebel? No. But guess what? The seed has been planted. I will come back to this.
There is one more son that Abraham had to trust God with, Isaac, the son that was promised to Abraham and Sarah by God. Chapter 22 talks about how God instructed Abraham to take his son Isaac to the land of Moriah and sacrifice him there as an offering. That sentence right there is enough to cause any parent great anxiety! Webster defines sacrifice as an act of offering to a deity something precious: the killing of a victim on an altar. That means you are not going to get it back. This took great faith, which is one of the reasons why Abraham is recognized as a man of great faith. Let’s look at this differently. God wanted to see where Abraham’s heart was. Did Abraham trust God enough to trust him with the promised seed? Remember, this is the promised child that Abraham and Sarah had been waiting for. This was Abraham’s son.
God is asking us if we will trust Him with our seed. For some people, it may be hard to do. When we look at the way the world is now with school shootings, bullying, and all the other things going on, one may find it hard not to want to be a sole protector. I realized that I could not be a savior to my children because that was an impossible task. Raising children is a big responsibility and it is not to be taken lightly. God will hold us accountable as parents. Do we get everything right? No, we are human. But it is our responsibility to show them the right way and instill good morals and values in them. It is our responsibility to teach them right from wrong. Our commitment is to tell them the truth and prepare them for the real world. It is our responsibility to model the right thing to do and hold them accountable when they decide to do something wrong when they know better. When you have done all that you can as a parent, you have to leave the rest to God and take comfort in knowing you are doing right by them. Our responsibilities as parents don’t stop when our children graduate high school. As long as we have breath in our bodies, we will forever have a responsibility to be a parent to our children. We would not treat a five-year-old daughter like we would a 30-year-old daughter. However, even when they are adults, we still want to be there as a parent to encourage them in hard times, cheer them on in their successes, and tell them the truth when they are doing the wrong thing. Just as Abraham trusted God with his sons we must trust that God will take care of our children from infancy to adulthood.
We come to say thank you for your presence in our lives and our children’s lives. We say thank you for all that you have done for us and for your many blessings that surround us daily. We pray for our seed, and we ask that you protect and keep them from all hurt, harm, and danger. We ask that you keep them covered under your blood. We trust the plans that you have for their lives, and we will do our part as parents to ensure that your plans come to pass. We realize the importance of the responsibility you have given us by placing them in our care. We ask for your wisdom in guiding and training them. We ask for your strength in telling them the truth even when it hurts. We ask for your boldness in times of having to defend and protect them. Thank you for your perfect will being done in their lives. In Jesus name Amen!