When I look into the faces of my sweet kiddos, I can’t help but wonder what they will be. As a mother, there are many things I hope for my children – and as much as I want them to stay little forever, I also can’t wait to see what they become.
There can be some fear there – I know it well. We wonder if they will love the Lord. We wonder if they will be successful – by the Lord or the world’s standards. We know there is so much they can run into – and so many things trying to pull them away.
Their faces hold innocents today – but what will tomorrow hold.
Mary ponder some thoughts of her child as she watched him.
She held the Savior in her arms – and pondered at all the angel had told her. He was coming the be the Savior and the Messiah – but right now, he lay peaceful, asleep, safe and sound.
When the eight days of of His circumcision had been completed, they took him to the temple to present Him to the Lord. I can only imagine the things that went through Mary’s heart and mind as she presented her child – God’s child- back to the Lord. The day we dedicated our children, I remember crying out to God, asking and pleading with Him to be merciful and gracious to them. That They would know Him as Savior at an early age, and that they would walk with Him all the days of their lives. I remember praying and asking God to move me out of the way and to take them deeper than I would ever go. I remember feeling completely inadequate to parents these precious gifts of God.
To hear Simeon and Anna rejoice over the child was probably mind blowing as well. They had yearned and prayed for this moment- and it was finally here. I can only imagine the added pressure she felt.
Jesus grew- just as our children do.
I currently have a 12 year old son, and I can see in him traits and abilities that I think will be great in him as he becomes an adult. I can see the beginnings of his passions and maybe even the things that might lead him in a direction in a career. I can see things about his faith, already forming in his young mind and heart.
Mary got the same glimpse into Jesus’ adulthood as she found Him preaching in the temple, doing “My Father’s business.”
Just like us, Mary had to begin to let go and let her child become who God intended Him to be. It is hard for us to begin to do this- but Mama, it is so necessary. We are not raising children to stay in our homes – but to be about the Father’s business. No, our children are not going to be asked to be Saviors and Messiahs- but they might be asked to do hard things. God might:
- Call them to Singleness
- Call them to be Pastors or Teachers
- Call them to be Missionaries
- Call them to be wives in ministry
- Call them to be infertile
- Call them to serve their country
- Call them to make an ultimate sacrifice
We don’t know what God is going to ask our children to do – but we have to give them the wings to fly. We need to give them the opportunity to grow into the men and women that God is calling them to – even when it hurts our Mama heart to see them grow and go.
Like Mary, we need to keep some things in our hearts. It is hard not to speak our fears and even our dreams on our kids. When we do this- we can cause them to do things because of our expectation, and not God’s direction. This doesn’t mean we don’t give our children wise counsel – but it does mean that we need to guard and protect some of our thoughts and keep them in our heart, just like Mary did.
Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. Luke 2:51
It is my prayer that our children will “grow in grace and stature” as we guide and train them in the ways of God.