I remember as a kid, riding my bike through town for hours. I had no cell phone, Tracfone, mobile device of any kind…..I just simply was free to roam and enjoyed every second. I never had a creepy person pull up beside me and offer me candy, nor did I fear that a pedophile could be living in any one of the 200 houses I rode past. But life is unfortunately not this way for my children.
As the kids are getting older we are faced with harder and harder decisions. Instead of what type of car seat to purchase, I’m trying to decide if I should allow my (almost) eleven year old to go away for a few days to camp…without me. And if sleepovers are a good idea or not. These decisions seem heavily weighted with fear. The fears of what-if something happens and I have no control. Fear of, how could I ever forgive myself for being so stupid for letting her go? But then, as I was praying one day, I felt God remind me that I said I trust Him. I dedicated myself to my kids, to raise them up in His ways, and I in turn handed them back over to Him, and said “I trust you.”
If I truly trust God with my kids, why do I have so much fear of letting them go (in little ways for now)?
I think this question is a loaded one, with a several part answer. Part of the issue I believe, is that nowadays (moms especially) fear what other moms will think and say about them, if something goes wrong. We all remember Harambe, the gorilla who was killed after he nearly destroyed a three year old boy who accidentally fell into his cage. If you recall, the mother was completely bashed on social media for not watching her child. This incident is only a very small glimpse into what has become of the judgement being hurled in every direction at parents for the decisions they make.
Judgement though, is not the only thing that is causing fear in the hearts of parents in regards to their children. Many people will tell you, “This world isn’t what it used to be.” The belief that the world is becoming increasingly evil seems to persist. While I’ve gone back and forth on this….I mean if you’ve ever read the Old Testament you can see that this world has been evil, and always will be, until Jesus returns.But with the internet and cell phones, we are exposed to a constant stream of horror stories, of what can happen if we let go even a little bit.
How then as Christian parents, can we learn to let go when it’s necessary and trust our God, and have peace within ourselves to know that this decision is right, no matter what? The simple answer is with prayer. When we intentionally pray through these tough decisions in regards to our kids, and place fear aside, we can search for the peace God gives when He says yes, or the non-peace when He says no.
A very simple question to ask yourself when you are trying to decide if you should do the thing you are seeking God’s answer on, is “Is this within God’s will?”
Is this something that God would approve of…something that brings glory to Him? Or something that can lead to blessing, not something that can lead to a sinful fall? While this doesn’t always lead to a very clear answer….it can help to guide you through the smaller decisions, which ultimately lead to bigger ones.