I like to know that I’m getting things right—that I’m on track. Feedback drives me. In most areas of my life, I can quickly tap into a dose of positive reinforcement and assurance. Financial goals? Just check the balance sheet. My marriage? I can usually tell how we’re doing based upon how much we’re laughing together and craving time with one another. Homemaking? Just look around—our home is either a wreck or it’s not. Simple enough.
But parenting? This is the area of my life where I feel as if I’m working on a highwire…in a blindfold. Sure, I can tell if my teenagers have cleaned their rooms and made the grade at school. But I’ve come to understand that the real work of parenting is in guiding the hearts of my children toward their Heavenly Father. The problem? I can’t see their hearts. How do I know what’s really going on in there? How do I know that they really get it?
I can see clues occasionally. One of my teenagers will share with me about an “aha!” moment at Bible study, or in a relationship. One will get up early, unprompted, to serve the church Sunday after Sunday (the same child who, Monday-Saturday, requires a fire hose and an air horn to wake). I think of these as God’s hand on my shoulder, his gentle reminder to me that he hears my prayers and is at work in their lives.
But the bottom line is this: I can’t see inside their hearts. I can’t know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they love the Lord and always will. I have to trust in God’s faithfulness. I must rest in the promises of His Word that tell me to plant good seeds and trust Him for the harvest. This is hard for me. But I’m learning to lean into who He is more than what I’ve done—or not done—properly as a parent. God is sovereign and good, and we can trust Him…even with our children.
- Read 1 Corinthians 3:6 and 2 Corinthians 9:10.
- What is hard for you in the process of letting your children grow up?
- How do you plant good seeds into the hearts of your children?
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