Decisions were easier when I didn’t have children.
Now my decisions affect small people tethered to me.
When I take that leap of faith, they tumble off with me.
At times they go kicking and screaming, and other times trusting that I have their best interest in mind.
planted a church,
I filter every decision through how it will affect my children.
• I WANT MY CHILD TO LIVE IN THE SWEET WITHOUT THE LESSONS OF THE BITTER!
• I DESIRE MY CHILD TO DEVELOP CHARACTER BUT NOT HAVE TO FACE THE UNCOMFORTABLE.
Perhaps a helmet for their heart and knee pads around their soul so they don’t get scraped up.
The weight of decisions that affect my kids can be faith stalling or faith stimulating.
REMEMBER THESE 5 THINGS WHEN MAKING DECISIONS:
1. God’s leading requires MY obedience. Period.
God never intended children to keep us from daring to do hard things. I learned to trust God with my life, but at time I wasn’t certain I trusted Him with my child’s life. I’ve learned no matter how I calculate it I cannot fill in all the blanks of a decision. It’s the fill-in-the-blanks of a decision that create an opportunity not just for me to experience God, but also for my child to experience Him.
2. My obedience creates a journey my child is invited to walk.
As much as I’d like to hand my child a book and say, “read up and you’ll know everything about God;” life is the “education if you can afford the tuition.” God leading Abraham to sacrifice his son was a seemingly ridiculous request. His obedience generated a journey they walked together and lessons about God they experienced together.
3. Create space for children to ask questions.
Questions may arise that you don’t have clear answers for, “Dad where’s the lamb for the sacrifice?” It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” As you’re learning to anticipate God, teach your child to also anticipate God’s provision. Be honest with your thoughts of learning to trust God.
4. Listen to their fears. Your obedience may lead to untidy and unpredictable circumstances. Your children may decide they are not happy with the journey you chose or the God who called you to it. If they are silent, ask questions to uncover their thoughts. If they over-react, ask questions to narrow down their fears. As you’re trusting God in your decision, you’re also maturing as a parent. Create safe space for them to mature as well.
5. Watch for God’s thumbprint and help your child see God at work. Change, fear, loss, adjustments; all create a fog of emotions blinding us from seeing small things God is doing. Guide your child to begin to detect God at work.
- No obedience, no journey.
- No journey, no anticipation.
- No anticipation, no seeing God.
- No seeing God, no experiencing Him together.
Watching my child navigate the unknown because of decisions I’ve made has been heart wrenching. If they hurt, I bleed too.
And yet, on the flip side, I’ve seen God use those circumstances to produce lessons in their lives I could not have manufactured. Lessons I’m thankful they learned while we walked together.
Published April 11, 2014