This is something I have been thinking about for almost a year – ever since my daughter went to Honduras. I had no idea what she was going to experience while she was there and it was a good thing I didn’t know. I may not have been as supportive had I known that she was going to be going places with armed guards.
As parents we want to protect our children. In fact, I contend that we overprotect them. We have been told that real Christians are blessed materially, have automatic protection from God, and are always safe. Our young people today don’t believe this. They are not searching for safety. They are not nearly as interested in materialistic things as their parents. They are seeking to use their lives to make an impact. They are aching for a life that has meaning and not just things.
As a parent, I want my child to live a long happy secure life. I’m not looking for her to take risks. However, that is not necessarily how God is leading her.
Matthew 16:25 says “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” As a parent, am I able to embrace this truth for my child. Do I trust God with her care?
I have a biblical responsibility to nurture my child, to bring her up in a godly and safe environment. However, my fear about her safety is not an excuse for not preparing her to be used by God and it is not an excuse for not letting her go in the direction that she feels God is leading her.
It is my responsibility as her parent to pray for her. I need to pray for her safety. John 17:15 says “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” Do I have the courage to pray this for my child? Do I really want her “in the world”? Or, do I secretively just want her removed from all possibility of danger?
What if God is preparing her for great adventures in His name? What if she feels called fulltime to missions – am I prepared for that? Is my preoccupation with her safety interfering with what God might be calling her to do? Am I willing to stand by her and support her in all God has planned for her?
My daughter is preparing for her third mission trip this spring. She will be spending a week in Guatemala. I am praying that God will keep the group safe and allow them to complete the tasks that lay before them. I am also praying that God will use this time in my child’s life to draw her into a closer relationship with Him. I want her to seek God’s will for her life and then have the courage to follow Him in it. That’s a tough prayer for me to pray … Do I have the courage to pray for that and to let go and let God work in her life?