How often do we grasp at our children’s lives? We are so careful, so particular, so confident we can save them if we try hard enough, know enough, do enough.
We break fellowship with our neighbors over what type of birth we want for our babies and whether or not we vaccinate them. We make rules about what types of food they are allowed to eat and what water they drink*. We build walls up between us and our sisters by creating unforgiving rules in the name of saving our children from immodesty.
More books (and blogs!) are being published every year about how to raise a healthy, happy child. But in Genesis 22 we see God ask Abraham to sacrifice his only son on an altar — and Abraham obeys. How many of us would do the same? Of course, God mercifully stops Abraham (did Abraham know God would do that?).
God Himself did not spare His own Son, Jesus, for your sake and mine.
What does that tell us about child-bearing and raising? Could it be that optimal health is not the point? Could it be that autism and cancer and death are not necessarily the things we should be afraid of?
The exhortation is not that we should raise our children carelessly, but that we should recognize how the salvation of our children does not depend upon us as parents. I have to remind myself of this truth on a daily basis — how my children turn out, what they go through, how long they live and in what condition has more to do with God then it does with me. It is so easy to get caught up in the latest health fad (hey, I like and use some essential oils, but they are poor surrogate for Christian faith). It is too normal to get distracted by the latest fear driven madness (did you see the home remedy suggesting drinking the spit of someone who has ebola to protect yourself FROM ebola?).
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather be afraid of God, who can destroy both body and soul in hell.
If God is for us, who can be against us?
So instead of being afraid, worship God. Put down the How To Books and healthcare news sites (please stop going to Mercola.com and Huffington Post when you are looking for truth) , instead pick up your Bible. Stop symptom checking on WebMD (I’m so guilty of this one!) and find a trained professional to help when you need it so can spend less time researching and more time dancing around the living room with your kids !
The cure for fear of things in this world is getting to know Christ better. Want to bless your Children? Allow them to see you diligently reading your Bible and praying in earnest. Let them see you screw up and humbly ask for forgiveness. Show them how to mourn with those who are hurting and laugh with those who have joyful hearts! Let them see you trusting in God, especially when the world calls that kind of faith crazy.
*Recently, I did finally overcome my life-long gag reflex to kombucha. My friend’s toddler implored me to try the stuff his mom makes, “It’s delicious!” he said. He was right. His mama knows how to make it taste way better than stinky socks! I actually almost enjoy it now!