Parenting Advice from the Cross

John 3:16 (New International Version, ©2011) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

6:40 a.m.  Down the driveway they go, gobbled up by the big yellow bus.  I pray each morning as they pull away that God will protect my most precious possessions. No mother forgets what it takes to bring a child into this world, and they certainly don't forget the amazing moment when you meet that precious gift for the first time.

As Easter approaches, we take time to reflect on the sacrifice made for us at the cross.  Seeing that sacrifice from the eyes of a parent has given it new meaning for me.

My oldest is a drama queen to the most literal of terms.  She loves the crowd, and seems as though she never breaks a sweat performing in front of them.  My knees shake thinking about doing something like that!  I think of her in front of the crowd.  Its all I can do to watch, praying she does well and the crowd loves her.  But what if she were standing there, her life in their hands, being made a mockery?  What if people were hurting her, making her bleed.  Could I watch then?

My little guy whose growing like weeds in my garden grabs my leg in a wrestler-like hug.  He's always loved his momma.  That snaggle-tooth grin and big blue eyes melt my heart every time.  Could I watch him bleed and die for the sins of others?  Others who could care less about the greatest gift on earth, given free to them?

As parents we make many sacrifices.  We put our desires behind those of our children.  We protect our young against the world and all it has to offer.  We make sure these precious possessions are taken care of even if we ourselves are not.  We would take the place of our babies if we could to keep them from having to suffer.

Parenting is not easy.  God charges us with the responsibility of training up a child in the way he should go...all while learning to be that Christlike child ourselves.  Its the scariest thing in the world to me, to know that its my responsibility to make sure these little ones are cared for.  And as they grow, parenting becomes more than changing diapers and feeding a bottle.

Yesterday I was taught yet another lesson about parenting from the example of the cross.  The power of letting your children go, to live out their destiny.

Matthew 27 paints a vivid picture of the moment when Jesus died.  The temple curtain was torn, rocks fell.  There was a great earthquake.  God could have very easily taken Jesus out of there, unharmed.  But he didn't.  I can only imagine the grief my God must have felt as he watched his son carry out the painful and humiliating destiny that would change history, because he knew it was the best thing to do.

Our children may not have to die at the hand of others, but they will endure pain.  They will make mistakes, stumble and sometimes fall.  We'll watch helpless as they face situations beyond their control, the life changing situations that ultimately make us who we are.  Our destiny.  But the best parents know you have to let go, even if it hurts.  We can't take the world away from them, we have to teach them to fly in it.

Praying for my friends today who are doing just that.  God bless!

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