Today’s post is written by our Brave Writer, Lindsay Munoz.
This week I have been ruminating over the idea of what it means to give my children to God. If I were to go the literal route, like Hannah in 1 Samuel, it would mean LITERALLY giving my son away at age 3 or 4 and letting him be raised by a priest and have his life be dedicated to the Lord. Yes, she made a vow to God that if He took away her barrenness and blessed her with a son that she would give him back to the Lord, but if you ask me that takes immense bravery and complete selflessness. In today’s modern world, there aren’t many options to just drop your kid off, so what does giving your child to God mean today?
The first thing that I feel God is saying right to me as I am writing this is, ‘Trusting Me with your (MY) kids.’ My heart is literally screaming. Yes, I know that our heavenly Father loves them more than I could love them and wants the absolute best for them, but it makes me feel like I am giving up control (as if I had any to begin with..). Even though mentally I know that I really have no control, it makes me feel better to think I do. I think I have control over them getting into car accidents, which is why I prefer them to drive with me. I think I have control over them getting sick or getting hurt. I think I have control over the length of their life and if I am being TOTALLY honest, the idea of their lives being cut short is quite literally giving me anxiety and bringing me to tears.
They. Are. My. World.
Do I think God would want something bad to happen to them? Absolutely not, but we live in a fallen world and that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. Yes, if something like that happened, I know my God would work it out for my good. That He would heal me and that my kids would be better off in heaven…but like I said, I just can’t accept that. Yet.
As I was telling God to in a sense ‘back off’, He lovingly reminded me that that is not the ONLY way to give my kids to Him. (PHEW!!) He suggested several other ideas that take just as much bravery and strength as Hannah’s decision.
He suggested talking about Him daily so that from a young age, my kids would grow up knowing all of them (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). It got me thinking about what I am currently doing to make sure my kids know them. We listen to worship music and I always ask Adrian to tell me who this song is about and he always replies; ‘Jesus! He’s God!’ Sometimes He’ll even say; ‘Love you Jesus!’ Those are moments that fill my heart with joy. I tell him that Jesus loves him and that He is awesome (a word Adrian understands). My hubby and I also pray with Adrian every night. We used to pray for him and then have him join us in saying amen, but we have recently started getting him to repeat what we say. It usually doesn’t amount to much more than him saying the last word of every sentence, but I know that God LOVES hearing Adrian talk to Him. Sometimes if I ever forget to pray at night, Adrian will remind me by saying, ‘Mama! Jesus, pray?’ I love that my two year old can keep me accountable!
I also know that God has called me to homeschool my kids. I knew before they were even born, which is crazy. I even had my mom confirm it for me when I told her. She told me that God told her I was going to homeschool but she waited for me to bring it up before telling me. I know that by homeschooling my kids I can in some ways limit the kinds of secular activities they go to. I can use curriculums that cater to our beliefs and make sure they are not taught anything but the truth. I can even include bible study time! I have a teachers heart and I feel that the Lord knew this would be an area I would not only excel in but enjoy.
Something I can do on the sidelines is pray without ceasing for my kids. Praying is one of those things I don’t think I am really ‘good’ at but I am working on it. I can pray daily for their hearts, that they would guard and protect them. I can pray that they would think of heavenly things, and not of things of the world. That they would act and move in the gifts and fruits of the Spirit. I can pray that they will love everyone and judge no one. That they would think of Jesus before they speak, think, or act and that they would make good and righteous decisions. I can pray that as their parents, we would be the example of all of those things. That we wouldn’t just ‘teach’ it but do it. I can pray that we would be great examples of Christ. I can also pray for grace. That they wouldn’t take things too seriously and know that its ok to make mistakes and to learn and grow from them. I can pray that they will grow up feeling like they can come to me or their dad about any issue. That our home would be a safe, fun, warm, loving place for them and that they will WANT to be there. I can pray that they would both fight daily to remain pure and save themselves for their future spouses. I can pray that my son will be a man like Jesus and one day treat his wife as God treats the church. That he would honor and love and respect her. I can pray for my daughter to grow up KNOWING that she is the daughter of the King. That she is beautiful the way she is and that she is loved and valued.
The most important thing I felt God tell me during this time, was to stand strong. The decisions my husband and I make regarding our kids are not always going to be the popular ones. Some people, even those close to us may not always understand or agree but it is our jobs as their parents to make sure we pray about everything and to stand strong in all of our decisions. We need to remember that we serve the most amazing God and that nothing this world has to offer or say is ever going to be better than what God has to say or offer. When people question our standards or rules, we have to know that we are doing what is necessary to protect and guard our kids and that our most important job as parents is to steward them into a personal relationship with their Father.
What are you doing to teach your kids about Jesus? Do you do anything specific? What are something’s you pray for your kids about?
Lindsay Munoz is married to the love of her life and the mommy to two amazing kids. Her passion is for others to know how deeply loved they are by God. You can visit Lindsay at her blog at http://munozmama.wordpress.com
‘Greatness’ pic via http://blogs.blueletterbible.org/blb/2011/06/16/teaching-children-about-the-greatness-of-god/
Photo of Adrian by Lindsay Munoz