‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother.’ Matthew 19:5 NIV
Parents, read this letter. ‘Dear Dad: Thanks for all the times you held me on your lap so I could see the football match, and times you took me to the funfair and bought me hot dogs. I’ll always remember the day you carried me through the snow because I was so cold. You’ve been a great dad and I’ll never forget you. Suzie and I were talking the other day and wondering how you’re doing. Since we moved away we don’t get to see much of you. But one of these days we’re going to come and surprise you. Take care. I love you, your son.’ Nice letter, eh?
Nice, if you’ve prepared yourself for the time when you’re no longer needed to do what you’re doing today. If not, you can grow resentful towards those you sacrificed so much for and feel like you’re no longer important to them. God gave you your children on a lease, with an expiration date. Poet Kahlil Gibran said, ‘They come through you but not from you… You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.’ (see also Psalm 127:4).
Parenthood isn’t about ownership, it’s about stewardship. Your first assignment is to provide love to make them secure, laws to make them wise, light to walk in, and a lifestyle to follow. Your next assignment is to prepare them to go out into the world and put into practice the things you’ve taught them. So release them, celebrate the investment you’ve made, pray for them, and ask God, ‘What’s next?’ It’s the way God planned it.
SoulFood: 1 Chr 3–5, John 8:1–20, Ps 6, Pro 25:1–7
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023