In my previous article, I wrote about what it means–and what it doesn’t mean–to empower our kids. As a starting point for truly empowering our children and raising them up in the Lord, we must first see them correctly.
I am often stunned by the negative things I hear people say about parenting or having children. Even believers seem to fall into this trap. They will warn soon-to-be parents of the trials and tribulations that await once they bring children into the world. They will speak of the awful burden that children are:
“Get ready to never sleep through the night again.”
“Well, your life is about to be over.”
“You’re having another baby? Wow, I hope you can afford to pay the bills.”
“Yeah, he might be cute now, but just wait until the terrible twos.”
All of this is in stark contrast to what the Bible teaches us about children.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.”
From God’s perspective, children are not a burden but a blessing. But too often in our self-focused society, they are seen as an inconvenience or a nuisance. They are regarded as a barrier that keeps us from doing the things that we really want to do. What a selfish and ungodly mindset!
Our children are not meant to be put on a pedestal or to become idols in our lives, but we are to receive them as gifts from God. They are a blessing, a heritage from the Lord. And we only have so many years with our “arrows” until they will be sent out into the world, for an arrow is not meant to stay in the quiver forever. Our job is to invest in them, train them, love them, discipline them, and lead them so that they can be sent into their God-given purpose.
Is parenting easy? Of course not! Are there trials? Yes! If anything teaches us that life is not about us, it is parenting. But instead of resenting the sacrifice (and our children), we should embrace it. Love is about laying down self for the sake of another, and we get to do this for our kids.
Before we can empower our kids we must view them as God does. And remember, they are not really “our” kids in the first place. They belong to God and we have the awesome privilege and responsibility to raise them up in the Lord!