Raising our children in faithPublished 12:17am Tuesday, July 31, 2012
It was a big moment. My wife and I stood at the altar surrounded by family, friends, and church members. You could feel the shift in the atmosphere. No, Christi and I were not getting married this time; we celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary this past Thursday. But this time we stood at the altar as we did seven years ago when we dedicated our son, Darrio II, to the Lord. So, it was time for us to dedicate our precious daughter, Kinslee Joi, to God.
As parents, I believe this is one of the most sacred and greatest responsibilities that we have. Have you ever given your child back to God? I know some of you are thinking, “I would love to give my child back, but I don’t think God would take them back. I think He has a ‘no return’ policy on kids. Besides, I lost the receipt.”
What I am really asking is have you ever recognized that our children are precious gifts from God and that they ultimately belong to Him and not us?
As parents, we have been given stewardship over our children, much like foster parents. The way in which we raise our children is a direct reflection of our stewardship. As stewards, our first responsibility is to release ownership of our children.
I know we have all heard our parents or grandparents say, “I brought you into this world and I will take you out of it.” We know that our parents really did not mean that literally, it was only an expression letting you know just how serious they were. But the reality is that God calls parents to be stewards, not life givers or life takers. If we fail to properly train our children, we will be life takers and poor stewards because our children will not experience the full quality of life that is expected of them. Our children do not belong to us — they belong to God.
They are priceless gifts from God that He simply loans to us. God did not entrust children into our care just for them to be trained by day care or to be given over to the state, but he wants us to be good stewards by taking care of His most precious and vulnerable gifts.
Giving our children to God is also confirmation of our faith. We are saying that we trust that God has a purpose and plan for the lives of our children. Such an act of faith is also saying that we love God more than our children; even as Abraham demonstrated his love for God when he laid Isaac on the altar. Isaac was Abraham’s most prized possession but he refused to allow his child to take God’s place in his life. The danger of not giving our children to God is that they become an idol to us. Instead of training the child, we begin to worship the child. Think about it.
When we dedicate our children to God it is more than a magical ceremony. As parents, we must remember we do not own them, they belong to God.