They Are Not My Own

I don't know about you, but when I think about something happening to one of my children, my heart literally feels like it will stop beating. It's not pleasant to even think about, and yet I'm sure the thought has crossed most mothers' minds.

And heartbreakingly so, some mothers have actually experienced the loss of their child. (My prayer as I write this post is that if you are reading this and you have lost a child, God will give you the grace to continue breathing, continue loving and continue living. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.)

And yet, while raising our children, I must remember they are not our own. We are simply stewards given the high calling of introducing our children to Jesus, showing them how to love Him and how to love others. This ultimately brings our Father glory.

When thinking about this one day, the Lord brought to mind the parable of the stewards (Matthew 25:14ff). If you're familiar with this parable, you might remember the steward who was afraid of his master and buried the treasure he'd been entrusted with. I don't know about you, but it's easy for me to look with disdain on the steward who buried his treasure and think, "Why would he do that? He should have been wise like the other stewards and invested his treasure."
But you know what? More often than not, I am bent towards "burying" my treasure (our children) for fear that something might happen to it (them). What does this look like? It looks like me not trusting Jesus to protect my children if they aren't in my care, tending towards fear and anxiety at times that they will get really sick or wanting to have them close by me. Like forever. Really? Do they have to go away to college? Do they have to move out of state or "worse" yet, out of the country?

And yet, when I'm tempted to overly shelter our children, I'm not trusting my gracious Shepherd, Jesus Christ. True, there is no guarantee that nothing bad will happen to them, but should something happen that breaks my heart, I know God will give me the strength I need when all I have left is weakness.

Lord-willing, my children will out-live me and I'll die a happy old Grandma some day (with lots of grandbabies and great grandbabies!), but even so, I must remember I am a steward of the treasure I have been given. Sure, I share the same DNA with these precious pumpkins, but what matters most is if we share the same spiritual DNA.  I must invest in them by training them to serve Christ and then Lord-willing, I will see some "interest" made on their life as they live for Jesus and lead others to Christ.

My spirit is often willing, but almost always I need to shake off the weak flesh. By God's grace, may I not ("bury") hide my children when I need to let them go where Christ calls them.

For now, I'm thrilled beyond belief that I get to be the Mommy to these precious souls. What a blessing to know that while I serve them, I serve Christ. I will love on them as much as I possibly can while they are entrusted to me and I need not fear loving them too much.

"We need to guard our lives against the love of riches and worldly cares. All love for earthly goods, however, is not a sin. Their sweetness is a drop of his love and they have his goodness imprinted on them. They kindle our love for him as love tokens from our dearest friend. Loving them is a duty, not a sin" (Richard Baxter, A Christian Directory, I:214-218).

Do you struggle with fear about your children? If so, how has God enabled you to deal with this?


Molli Mc G said...

Thank you for this reminder!
I struggle with this myself, and enjoyed reading your post.

Stefani said...

I literally read this after praying and thinking about whether to send my 11yr old to public school or not. I am not confusing your post with meaning we can jsut throw our kids to the world and let them sink or swim, I know that's not what you're saying. My son is in the transitional state of pre-tenndom where he is being called to act out what he has learned about Christ since he was 5. With this means, I too as his momma, have to learn to loosen my reigns a bit so he can go and make disciples and that may mean in the public school setting. We are still praying but this post was a great reminder that we must not act on fear and I feel my reasons for homeschool thus far have been motivated mainly by fear. Thanks again said...

Thank you Molli and Stefani for your comments.

Stefani, I'm confident the Lord will direct you perfectly as you continue to seek Him! Thank you so much for sharing!

Lori said...

I struggle because I've lost two children. My first, after 10years of infertility and IVF...died the day after he was born. My 2nd (but third child), three weeks ago when I was 3 and a half months pregnant.

I struggle because God has called me on the promise I've made to Him to remember these gifts are truly from Him and not my own and asked me to give them back to Him far, far sooner than I was ready to...TWICE.

I struggle because I am terrified that the healing and restoration that was given to me in my sweet second child Luke will one day be taken as well...and I worry about how my fragile heart will survive. If it will even want to.

But I'm human and that struggle will be with me until my last breath is taken. So I just pray daily ... give thanks for my blessings and gifts, and for the strength to continue to glorify Him in all I beg, beg, beg Him to NOT make something happening to Luke be one of them.

He loves me. He gets it. He knows the hurt that comes with losing a child. And He knows that my heart wants to serve Him in all I say and do.

But the struggle is hard! said...

You've been in my prayers. I am so sorry for your losses, but praying that God will continue to give you the grace that you need and that you can embrace the gift (Luke) that He has given you w/o fear of losing him as well.

I lost my 2nd baby at the same stage of my pregnancy that you just did. It was very difficult to go through and I can only imagine how much harder for you to lose your first and now this one.

I will pray that God will give you another successful pregnancy if that is His will and that you will not be consumed by the fear as it can creep in so easily!

I'm sure the Scriptures have been an encouragment to you. When I was dealing with the miscarriage I marked certain verses with the date next to them and when I come upon them later I know what I was dealing with at that time of my life b/c of the date. It's a comfort to remember how God brought me through that time. Praying His peace (which is unlike the peace the world can give) will be with you. I remember feeling His peace (even though my heart was broken) in such a specific way during that time. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I've already spent some time on your blog and plan to some more as well. Blessings and Peace, Becky

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