Monday, February 16, 2009

Believing the Promises

Central to the task of parenting is believing the promises of God. In other words the sins of parents arise out of unbelief, fear, and worry. The promises of God are that he will not only be our God but the God of our children after us. The promise of remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit is for you and for your children. Your children are holy, set apart by God, claimed as his own. Harsh words or angry outbursts lose sight of the promises of God. Neglect and carelessness lose sight of the promises of God. Losing sight of the promises of God is forgetting the big picture; it’s forgetting what we’re doing and where we’re going. When the two year old is screaming, when the six year old just won’t let go of that sin, when the fifteen year old is being difficult to talk to, what is going on? The temptation is to fear, the temptation is to forget the promises of God. But believing the promises of God means looking at these sorts of situations as part of God’s plan to be the God of our children. When sin arises, faith looks and sees the opportunity to grow in righteousness. When conflict arises, faith in the promises says, ‘look, God is being faithful again.’ And that’s not some kind of pious way of ignoring problems. It’s just faith in the promises. When the child disobeys or needs correction, faith sees God giving an opportunity to teach, an opportunity to bestow grace, an opportunity to be Christ to the child. And that’s really the bottom line. These children already belong to God, we’re all foster parents; our children do not belong to us. Our task is to raise these little ones to love and serve their real Father. They’re already his. Our job is to believe that and see all the bumps and daily work as means to that end. Hey look, God must want us to talk about forgiveness and obedience again. How wonderful is that? What better way is there to learn about grace than having to explain it to your children over and over and over and over. That is grace to us, and God says to us, to parents, do you get it? Are you learning faith? Do you trust me?

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