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Let Your Children Go

Little baby bumps inside of me. Chubby legs toddling around and four-toothed grins that respond when I say, “Good morning!” Tiny arms that wrap around my neck with toddler whispers of “Mommy, I love you so much.” These are the moments that melt my heart, that make me want to cling to the sweetness for years to come. They make me wish that my two already-born children and the one yet to be birthed might never grow up, that I will always have chubby children around me to love and hold.

God has recently shown me through His Word how often He has called mothers to sacrifice more than the daily grind of caring for children. A mother who loves God is called to give up her children—to adulthood, to spiritual maturity, to their own marriages and families, to God’s will for their own lives.

God’s Word gives us story after story of mothers who put aside their own feelings to trust in God, knowing that His purpose was greater in their children’s lives. Jochebed made a final attempt to save Moses’ life by placing him in a basket (Exodus 2). Hannah promised God her child’s service when she requested that He grant her wish to become a mother (1 Samuel 1). Mary went through pregnancy, labor and delivery, each moment of mothering a baby and toddler, then a preteen and teenager, knowing fully that her Son was the Messiah. She might have understood His life would end in sacrificial death based on her knowledge of Isaiah 53, but she may not have known what great torment she would see Him go through before He said, “It is finished.” God honors both Hannah and Mary specifically by including their prayers in Scripture for us, giving us a picture of their faith in God, their magnitude of thankfulness for their holy calling (1 Samuel 2:1-10; Luke 1:46-55).

These examples result in three adults who had major impact on the children of Israel and (in Christ’s case especially) the entire world. What might have happened if their mothers had tried to stop them from doing what God wanted for the sake of their own feelings?

As much as our mother hearts yearn for the stability and purpose our children bring to us, we are not called to hold on. We should be ready without hesitation to let them go to serve the Lord. In fact, we should do more than be ready; we should expect them to leave us, because this makes them healthy adults. God, of course, may lead our children to serve Him near us, and what a tremendous blessing that proximity would be, but it should not be assumed in our own hearts.

So as your children grow, do not waste the moments of motherhood, but live in light of the future. Time with our children is precious and valuable as we are given opportunity to teach them to become mature individuals capable of effectively discerning Scripture and living godly independent lives in an ungodly world.

It is a privilege to parent. And it is a privilege to offer our children back to the Lord, who so graciously gave them to us in the first place, to do His will in their lives.

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