God Has a Plan for Our Children Right Now By: Jessica Mudger July 21, 2021
Matthew 25:28-30, NIV “Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Every once in a while I have the great privilege of meeting someone who I believe to be leading the battle charge when it comes to kingdom parenting. One of those interactions happened for me a few years ago. My family and I had the great honor of sharing a meal with a family of missionaries in Haiti. Their oldest son had just gone off to a college across the ocean from them, and since they couldn’t be around to do it, they asked my husband to teach their son to drive.
The weight of this request settled heavily over me as I attempted to put myself in his mother’s shoes for a moment. Could I be as seemingly peaceful in a similar situation with my own children? I want to give my children the best, most easily traversed path possible to their future. I don’t ever want my children to suffer harm, and in my own mind, that often requires my own very “hands-on” approach. Some may call this “helicopter parenting.”
I will never forget the wise mother’s response when I brought this to her attention. She said that if she were God, she would never let her kids fall into circumstances that would hurt them. And yet, God loves us enough that He allows us to do that all the time. When we think back, aren’t the most painful, seemingly destructive times in our lives also the ones that were catalysts for the most growth? The person who has fallen far from God’s plan has all the more opportunity to experience His love and grace upon returning.
It was a startling realization for me. She was absolutely right. Of course it is with a pure heart that we desire to keep our children from harm. However, we forget that failure is a huge part of the growth process. Consider, for example, that it took Thomas Edison one thousand tries to successfully invent the light bulb. He failed one thousand times before getting it right. However, Thomas Edison himself commented on this with monumental wisdom by saying, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The lightbulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
Common sense dictates that God created the family with parental protection and guidance in mind for raising children. However, how far does that go? The question we must ask ourselves when wishing to protect our children from harm is, “Am I robbing my children of blessings by attempting to protect them?” By the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we must be willing to let our children take calculated risks. This is part of training our children in the way they should go.
After the eye-opening conversation that changed the way I thought about protecting my children, I’ve grown to trust God even more. My complete control over my child’s life is not only impossible, it is actually detrimental to the process of my child’s becoming. As my children learn to take risks, I learn to hold them with open hands.
It is in this process of failure leading to success that the depth of my support plays out right before my child’s eyes. If I am only ever there to cheer for them in their victories, how will they know I am there to hold them in their failures? It would be a tragic mistake to set my children up to expect nothing short of wins in a world so full of catastrophe.
Playing it safe in parenting might help me sleep at night, but it won’t help them blossom into what they are meant to be. God has plans for our children right now. Not someday - Not eventually - Right now. I pray that if Jesus comes back in my lifetime, He will not only find me with my hands full of fruit, but my children as well. Planting the seeds that yield fruit means risking the fact that not all the seeds will bloom into maturity. As for me, I intend to walk with my children through the garden day after day. Together we will celebrate the wins and mourn the losses. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. And one day I pray we will stand before Christ together and hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Click here to return to the Parenting Column