I have felt conviction in my life from many sins, but recently none more than idolatry. What is the object of my worship? Sadly, it is my children. There are three things I am trying to do in my life to “give up my kids.”
1. I need to change my prayer life. Honestly, when I think about how I pray for my kids, I see my problem. I pray things like, “Lord, help them make the team.” I feel like I decide what is best for my kids and then beg God to make it happen. I need to quit planning their life and then getting upset if something else happens. Why do I ever think my plans are better than His?
2. I need to prepare my kids for the world and not try to prepare the world for my kids. Sometimes I think I can change the world for them by regulating every second of their time online and surrounding them with children from perfect Christian homes. I agree we should protect our kids when we can. I also think we should be allowing them to make choices and experience temptation. They need to learn to listen to the Holy Spirit even when their parents are not around. The world is full of sin, and our kids have to be prepared to stand up for their faith while living in it.
3. I need to be okay with my kids experiencing disappointments. As a teacher, I see moms trying to shield their kids from disappointments. That makes me realize that I do the same thing. Parents sometimes insist on perfection for their children. Unfortunately, they are some of the saddest children I teach. They expect the whole world to serve them and cannot understand when other people do not put their needs first. In contrast, I teach children who have been through many hardships. I have observed that many of them are actually happier than the kids with so called “perfect” lives. I love that they are not expecting people to serve them and they appreciate the small things. Let’s allow God to mold our children and use their lives for His purpose.
Let’s confidently “give them up” to the one who loves them more than we ever could. Psalms 127:3-5 says “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”
We have to resist the temptation to leave our children in our quiver where they are protected. God has called us to be the archer. We are to point our arrows in the right direction and then let them go into the world. We have to trust God will direct their course.
Jamie DeFeo is a public school kindergarten teacher. She is the wife of Troy DeFeo, the pastor of Living Hope Baptist Church in Garland, Texas. She has two children, Camryn and Pearce who are both in middle school.