Mom Up: Day Three
never yours to begin with
READ: Psalm 127:3, Deuteronomy 6:5-9
When my girls were little, I clung to them and tried to create the perfect home and be the perfect mom. I was a tightfisted mom, not ready or willing to give my children back to God. I was too afraid of what might happen if I let Him sit in the driver’s seat. It took a lot of work to get each of our children into our family, and you better believe I was going to hang on to each of them as tightly as I could and never let go.
But according to Psalm 127:3, our children are a gift from the Lord. “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him” (NLT). Our children are God’s and not ours. He has simply placed them under our care, “on loan,” if you will, for the years they are in our homes.
I’ll be honest. I do not like hearing that. I want to believe my kids are mine until they are grown and then they can be God’s. Until our adopted son, Kendrick, became part of our family, I assumed that being an intentional mom meant I was attentive to my children, compassionate toward them, and wise with the time we spent together. I didn’t realize there were heart issues connected with intentionality.
Here’s the thing. When we hold our children up in place of God, and look to them for our happiness, satisfaction, and joy, we are left feeling empty. Our kids will never fully meet or fulfill our expectations. Only God can do that!
When we convince ourselves that our kids are our little trophies or prizes we deserve, we always end up disappointed. But when we mother with open hands—literally mothering upward—everything changes. When we go to God first, and He is the only prize we seek, we are able to see our children for what they are: a gift from the Lord! When we accept the truth that they are not ours to hold on to, control, or idolize, we are able to find a deeper connection with God and with our kids.
Perhaps the best parenting principle we can practice is simply to welcome our children as they are. Our identity is not in our kids, nor is theirs in us. Our identity, and theirs, is in Christ alone. Our children may not accomplish the things we may want them to, but when we accept that they are not ours to begin with, we can love them for who they are: God’s children. We won’t expect them to perform for our benefit or do things to make us feel better as parents. We won’t look at their lives as the scale by which we weigh the value of our own lives.