“I feel like crying right now. How do I teach them…?”
That was the question I posed to a friend this morning. Needless to say, it was a rough morning… There are things I teach and implement in my household, but they may not be the same values the kids learn at their dad’s house. And that can make parenting far more difficult at times.
Thankfully, God has seen fit to put wise people in my path. After a brief discussion, it all came down to a question of surrender. Do I truly believe that “It’s God’s Deal”?
In this particular situation, there is nothing I can do or say to change what is happening. I can just do as much as possible when they are with me to counteract the influences I feel are a detriment to their development. And when it comes to the things I cannot change, I need to trust God with my most precious commodity — my children.
I am not the first mother to learn this lesson. Jochebed literally put her child in a basket and entrusted him into God’s care. If you haven’t heard the story of Moses’ beginning, here is the condensed version. Pharaoh, king of Egypt, ordered all Hebrew baby boys be killed. He feared the Israelites would soon outnumber and overpower the Egyptians, and wanted to prevent that from happening.
So Jochebed hid her newborn son for three months. Eventually, she realized that she couldn’t protect him any longer. The Bible says, “she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River” (Exodus 2:3b).
Can you even begin to fathom what she must have endured during those moments?
Trusting my kids to God for a few hours or a few days is challenging. I can’t even imagine how Jochebed must have felt, watching her precious baby boy float down the river in a basket. There were a million things that could have gone wrong! If that were me, I would have come up with every possible worst-case scenario.
But not Jochebed! She chose to trust that God was bigger. The Bible doesn’t talk about her feelings as she watched him float away, but as a mother, I can imagine I would not want to ever feel the way she did in that moment. But, at the same time, I think she believed God had a plan and purpose for Moses’ life. Her knowledge that her child was in God’s plan gave her the courage to step away from the basket.
That wasn’t the end of Moses’ story though. The Pharoah’s very own daughter was bathing in the river at the exact moment Moses floated by. She rescued Moses, the little Israelite boy, and decided to raise him as her own.
To make the story even better, she just happened to hire Jochebed to nurse him until he was older.
Can you imagine how Jochebed must have felt? Her belief that God loved her child more than she did was validated as she saw His incredible plans fall into place.
As a mom, I always want to keep my kids safe; I want to protect them from pain, fix their problems, make their decisions for them, and steer them in the right direction. However, there comes a time when we realize we aren’t in control anymore and have to accept that our children’s futures are in God’s hands, not ours.
My comfort and peace comes from remembering God is always in control and ever present in our children’s lives, even when we cannot be there.
Another scripture that stood out to me was Joshua 1:9, “This is my command — be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Today, I am learning when to draw the line and let my kids experience life, even the painful parts. Ultimately, only God can completely care for my children. He trusts me to protect them and love them, but as Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Thankfully, I can have this hope. God is in control and I can trust him. He really does have only the best planned for My munchkins.
After all, Isaiah 40:11 says, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”
As much as I love my kids, I can rest in knowing He loves them more.