Advent Week Four – Peace: You’re not their heavenly parent. 

Brit Tashjian

Two college friends, now middle-aged moms and nearly empty nesters are gabbing about the lives of their almost-adult children and how hard, wonderful hard it is to have all the chickens back in the nest over Christmas college break.  

“I just feel like the stakes are higher, now, you know?” explains the blonde one. “Like every little thing we say could offend their new world view, or affect a major life decision or something.”   

 “You’re so right,” the brunette agreed. “Gone are the days when the hardest thing was helping them write their Santa lists and keeping them from getting the gimmies over the holiday. Now we could accidently be the reason they quit going to classes, or quit on a relationship or – ”   

“- or quit on their faith altogether.” her friend interrupted. And there it was. The fear hiding just underneath their laughter, the reason they needed this quick phone call before the kids descended. She needed to hear what she knew her friend would say next,  

“Oh honey. You’re not going to ruin God for them. You couldn’t even do that if you tried. He loves them even more than you do, and you need to let them find their own way in that relationship. Welcome to next-level mama faith.”  

Do you ever worry that you’ve done the faith part of parenting wrong? That you’ve missed the mark with your kids somehow, and might be responsible for their choice to know or not know God?  

 As your children get older, we know your control over them, even if it was just an illusion to begin with, lessens. And we want you to know, that their inheritance in the family of God is waiting for them, as was yours, whether you “parented it right” or not. Remember that you are their shepherd and their guide, a comfort and a companion, but you are not their savior.                                                                                                                   

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9 

With the kids:  

To ask: Do you feel like you know Jesus all by yourself, or just what mommy and daddy have told you about him? Do you want to know more about Jesus being your personal friend?  

To read: “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the in.” Luke 2:7 

To listen: Away in the Manger 

To pray: Lord, help me tend to my children’s spirituality this month while somehow holding it loosely at the same time. Show me what it means to let you do your work in them. Thank you for loving my children, and for loving me.  

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