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We are stewards of our children

So many people go thru life feeling like failures. For them, having kids is kind of like a “do-over.” It’s a chance to live out their dreams vicariously. Soccer dads get to live out their dreams of stardom as little Johnny shoots his first goal. My parents were wonderful, but I was never goi…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

So
many people go thru life feeling like failures. For them, having kids
is kind of like a “do-over.” It’s a chance to live out their dreams
vicariously. Soccer dads get to live out their dreams of stardom as
little Johnny shoots his first goal.

My parents were
wonderful, but I was never going to be the doctor my Dad wanted me to
be. I fainted when my second child was born. I was bad in biology and
chemistry class and I got queasy when I saw blood.

Our job as
parents is to study our children, understand how God has gifted them
and what dreams he has bound up in their hearts. Then we need build
them up so that one day, they can tap their gifts and realize those
dreams.

We parents need to fight the urge to control our kids as they get
older, gradually releasing them to their destiny. Too many parents have
apron strings like bungee cords that keep extending out.

This
quote from Henri Nouwen is a wonderful perspective on parenting. He
thinks of the baptism of children as an opportunity for parents:

“Through
birth a child is given to parents; through baptism a child is given to
God. At baptism
the parents acknowledge that their parenthood is a participation in
God’s parenthood, that all fatherhood and motherhood comes from God.
Thus baptism frees the parents from a sense of
owning their children. Children belong to God and are given to the
parents to love and care for in God’s name.

“It is the parents’ vocation
to welcome their children as honored guests in their home and bring
them to the physical, emotional, and spiritual freedom that enables
them to leave the home and become parents themselves. Baptism reminds
parents of this vocation and sets children on the path of freedom.”

Comments (3)

  • wonderful i really appreciate this kind of idea about parenthood……i have been quite lucky in this regards to be blessed with such parents who have not only nurtured me emotionally but also spiritually….but now i feel a lot of pain in going away from my parents words said and accepted that we all at the end of the day will have to leave behind our homes but what can u say about human emotions.

  • Yeah… I’m wearing a bungi cord when it comes to Christopher. For the last several years, I have been becoming his “friend” again. Now that I am in a “parent” position, I am finding myself wanting to say no more, but still saying yes.

    I really need some prayer in this! This is a right on time blog… I have been praying and processing this very topic a lot lately.

  • Having spent much time working with Junior High and High school students, the truth is that once a child reaches the age of 12 or 13 or in rare circumstances 14, parents absolutely do not control their children. We may influence our children, we may be able to restrict some of their actions and activiities {and should} but children of this age are going to think for themselves. If a parent of a teenager thinks they can control what their teenager thinks they delusional and their efforts to control their child’s thinking damges the child and their relationship. The reality of life is that we are not in control and in God’s plan are not suppose to be in control. This is God’s job. To act as if we are in control is an assertion of pride which results in forfeiting the grace and power of God we need to be the parents God called us to be. I guess it clear that this is one of my pet peeves. However, I have seen the damage of what seems to be accepted Christian thinking that Christian parents are suppose to dominate and control their older children. The end result is way too often Children who are either rebellous, or baby Christians who think the Christian life is all about living by a set of rules their parents created instead of living a life of faith by the Spirit.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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