I wasn’t terribly fearful until I became a parent. I’m not a parent who makes our children wear bike helmets in the house, or walk with a leash at the supermarket, but I’m close. Being a parent is scary. I often worry about sickness, tragedy, bullies, financing college, future husbands, future wives, driver licenses, good grades, bad guys, the Internet, and the orthodontist. All of these things are enough to send a parent over the edge!
J.C. Ryle once wrote, “Half our miseries are caused by things we think are coming upon us.” I can drive myself crazy thinking about the things that could be or might be. I easily lay awake at night wondering:
What if one of our children gets sick?
What if we can’t save enough for college?
What if one of our sons or daughters walks away from Jesus?
What if our children get exposed to something we try so hard to protect them from?
This kind of fear or worry does not reveal a heart that trusts God, but rather it reveals a heart that is hopelessly trying to be God. If we are honest, much of our fear and worry is birthed by a prediction of the future where God is not present, active, faithful, good, or powerful enough. Our fears and worries are not just feelings; they can also be an expression of our faith. My wife and I have to continually remind ourselves of not just what we are up against as parents, but more importantly, who is with us as parents. If it weren’t for our confidence in God’s character, actions, and promises, being a parent would be a lot scarier.
As you know, God has not called us as parents to be fearful; God has called us to be faithful. There is a lot we cannot control. Much of the future is left undefined, unknown, out of sight, and certainly beyond our power. What God asks us to give Him, and our children, is faithfulness. In the New Testament, this is one of the most common descriptions of God’s servants. Notice the following:
1 Peter 5:12 – Silas is regarded as a “faithful brother.”
1 Corinthians 4:17 – Paul mentions Timothy to the church in Corinth as one who is “faithful in the Lord.”
Ephesians 6:21 – Paul calls Tychicus his “dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord.”
Colossians 1:7 – Epaphras is described as a “dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ.”
Colossians 4:9 – At the close of this New Testament letter, Onesimus is referred to as a “faithful and dear brother.”
Though these are just a few examples, we see over and over again that God wants us to trust Him for tomorrow, while being faithful to Him today. Though we can’t give our children faith, we can give them faithfulness. The rest is up to God. Our faithfulness is the means through which He powerfully works His purposes.
Join me over the next three Mondays as we look at three specific areas that we need to be faithful as parents.