Do Our Kids Belong to God?
I knew it would happen, but I always harbored a hope that my mothering experience would somehow be different than those of all the other moms I knew. If I did all the right things, maybe I could keep my kids from crashing, from being hurt and from finding out the hard way. Unfortunately, my plan was only a fantasy.
From the first skinned knee to the series of bumps and bruises – both emotional and physical – that would occur over the years, I’ve learned that I can’t control everything about my children’s lives.
This morning I was reading Hannah’s story in 1 Samuel 1:1 – 28. I’ve read the Bible story about Hannah wanting a child and being unable to conceive several times, but reading it again as my children embark on teenager-hood gave me a new perspective. This time, as Hannah begged God for a child, I totally got it, but as I read again how she promised to give her child to God if he blessed her with one, my stomach clenched. I don’t know about you, but I guess I’m not so good at trusting anyone, even God, with my children.
We Christians say all the time that our kids belong to God, but I wonder, do we really let him have them? In scripture, Hannah literally took Samuel to the temple and gave him over to Eli, just as she promised God. Wow! I think that’s huge. Of course, I understand that God doesn’t expect us to drop our kids off at the church for the pastor to raise. In fact, I’m pretty sure our pastors’ wives wouldn’t appreciate it and the cops would most likely question our motives, but Hannah’s story is a strong example of what it means to trust God with our children.
I admit it. I’m not as brave as Hannah. I am one of those parents who worries about my kids all the time. I’m not very good at giving them, spiritually speaking, back to God, but Hannah’s story urges me to do so. Her story reminds me that my children have been God’s all along and that if He loves them more than I do, and I believe with my whole heart that He does, then I can give my worries as a mother over to Him. They’re already His, anyway.
What about you? Can you imagine giving your children over to God? Is this something you struggle with, and does Hannah’s example make it any easier to trust Him with their lives?