Today's post is by the wonderfully talented Kathi Lipp. I love Kathi's books (Praying for Your Life and Praying for Your Husband) and she has a new book out called Clutter Free.
“My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:7-8)
When it comes to protecting my kids, especially as they’ve gotten older, I realize that the best thing I can do is the put them in the safest place they could possibly be: at the feet of Jesus.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it. Actually, it’s something I have to do over and over again, because the reality is, no matter how many times I put them squarely at the feet of Jesus, I have to use all my power, (and a lot of prayer,) to keep from snatching them back up again.
As parents, we would never keep our babies from learning to walk just because we are scared they could fall down. (I’m convinced falling down is the reason that God made toddlers built low to the ground.) It's not that we aren't sad when they fall and cry, but we encourage them to get back up and try again, because we know there is no other way. We know that we can’t learn to walk for them and that there is no way we can hope they just “get it” as they get older. They have to walk, and to do so, they have to stumble, they have to fall down and they have to get up again.
I'm sure every mom who is reading this feels the same as I do about walking. But when it comes to our child’s disappointments in life, their troubles, we have a lot harder time letting them stumble and letting them fall down. Oh, we know it’s going to happen, but some of us are the emotional equivalents of a mom who is running in front of her toddler with a pile of pillows, screaming “You may fall down, but you will never experience any pain as long as I’m around!”
It's a painful time in any child’s life when they have to stop being rescued by their parents. That doesn’t mean that their parents can’t help them out. That doesn’t mean that there is no love, no grace, no mercy. But they stop looking to their parents to take care of needs they should be caring for themselves.
Ultimately, we want to rely on God as our protector, and to be a model for our kids to sit under his protection. When we let go, are we sure they are going to rely on God? No. But if we never let go, they will never have the need to.
This is the hardcore parenting work. The stuff where we have to allow our kids to not always like us. Where we have to say, “I’m so sorry that life is so hard. I love you, I’m praying for you, but I’m not running your homework out to you, (or paying your parking ticket, or …).
While compared to God we make lousy protectors for our kids, Psalm 91 tells us all about the kind of shelter that God can be for us and for our children:
Psalm 91 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Question: Have you experienced a time when you've had to let go of your children and let God keep them safe?
Bio: Kathi Lipp inspires thousands of women each year to take beneficial steps in their personal, marital and spiritual lives through purposeful living. With humor and wisdom, Kathi offers hope paired with practical steps to live each facet of our lives with meaning.
Kathi Lipp is the author of 10 books including The Husband Project, The Get Yourself Organized Project, and I Need Some Help Here – Hope for When Your Kids Don’t Go According to Plan. She is the host of So Here’s the Thing with Kathi Lipp and speaks at conferences across the US. Kathi is published with Revell Publishersand Harvest House Publishers. She has become well respected on the topics of marriage, children and self-purpose from a biblical perspective.
She is a national speaker and is often featured on Focus on the Family, MOPS International, Crosswalk.com, and Nickelodeon TV’s Parent Connect as well as a number of other reputable organizations around the country. She was recently named “Best of Broadcast” on Focus on the Family.
She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not doing laundry, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.
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