By His Grace: Our children belong to God
As parents, we want the best for our children, who, after all, are gifts from God.
Our hearts desire as we keep prayerful watch over our young to witness their growth and maturity into adulthood to become productive and responsible men and woman of God. Does this mean they will always follow instructions? Of course not.
In fact they will test the waters just as a toddlers do when we say, "Do not touch that!"
What are often missed when children come of age and become accountable are our chances to step back as parents while allowing freedom of choice regardless of whether we agree. The dilemma experienced by you and me is when to cease being their safety net, when to let go of the reigns.
This is a pivotal moment in their lives where what has been taught from scripture and personal experience begins to take root and become tangible. For many it is an uncomfortable learning curve how to deal with adversities, which builds character and strengthens faith and hope in the lord.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
"When we have learned not to give up, it shows we have stood the test. When we have stood the test, it gives us hope. Hope never makes us ashamed because the love of God has come into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who was given to us."
We were weak and could not help ourselves. Then Christ came at the right time and gave his life for all sinners.
It is unwise to interfere in the plans of God, especially when he is working on behalf of our loved ones. Doing so conveys the wrong message. Do you trust him?
When our children become adults, we must remember the journey of life is theirs, not ours, to travel.
Through the master's plans our children are to experience different levels in life. This requires each of them to be continuously stretched and redefined spiritually. And to fully appreciate the journey God has predestined, they must be willing to change with each step of the way, following personal growth. Do not hinder this. You would be saying God does not know best.
"Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen."
But what happens if they rebel? Let go and allow God his way regarding the matter. Does not a good father correct his children in love?
"For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."
When we teach our children the ways of the lord, trust that what has been shared will manifest itself in its due time. God is still in control.
"If a child is trained up in the right way, even when he is old he will not be turned away from it."
When our children come of age to willingly accept Jesus into their hearts as lord and savior, while they are still young, teach them how to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit who now it dwells within them.
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."
As they become adults they will come to know the voice of God and not to be easily led astray.
"My sheep recognize my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
When our children enter adulthood, our roles as parents change. We must loosen what's deemed safe for our children (the mommy knows best mentality), while allowing them room to discover something that was until recently unexplored that was in God's plan all along. We are to be available for godly counsel and prayer when needed. The lord will protect our babies.
So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; What can man do to me?"
Once you and I remove self, success for our children will be achievable in various areas of their life. And our family will have benefited from our obedience.
And if there are concerns regarding a loved one's salvation, rest assured once saved, always saved. No man can snatch a child of God away from him.
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
"No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever." Amen
God loves you just as you are.
You may ask how one begins to receive this love if you have never had a sincere relationship with God.
By your own free will, you accept Christ as lord and savior. Do not allow this moment to pass; tomorrow is not promised.
When you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. It is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Please repeat this prayer: "Lord Jesus, forgive my sins I committed against you. I believe Jesus died for my sins and has risen again. Please come into my life and heart and lead the way. I confess you as my lord and savior from this day forward. In Jesus' name, amen."
Welcome into the family of Christ.
Until next week, be blessed and continue to bless others along the way. Shalom.
(Bible references: John 16:33; Proverbs 22:6 (BBE); Hebrews 13:20-21; Hebrews 12:6; John 10:27-28 TLB; Romans 5:4-6 NLV: John 14:26; Hebrews 13:6; Revelation 21:4; Revelation 22:3-5. To obtain the full benefits of each verse, please read the five verses before and after each verse.)
Contributing Writer Edith Nevis can be reached at 985-857-2200 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.