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God's perfect plan for our children

God's perfect plan for our children

God's perfect plan for our children

9 May 2016

By Sharon Clanfield

There is nothing you wouldn’t do for your family. The moment you hold your baby for the first time is the moment when they steal your heart and you know you would do anything for them. You will love them, protect them and even make sacrifices for them so they are looked after and feel incredibly loved.

I can remember when I was a child my mother always taking the smallest piece of cake or the worst plate and even going without something, just so we could have those things. She would put herself last. Then I became a mum and I finally got the whole selfless path you naturally take, just so your child doesn’t have to go without.

Over the years, I have learnt that giving my children, and now my grandchildren, everything they want isn’t necessarily the best thing for them. Sometimes the lessons they learn in not getting are of more value. If there is nothing we wouldn’t do for our family, then looking out for them in body, mind and spirit is a far greater journey than just making sure they have the things they need or want physically.

When we lived in Canada and our children were small, a very wise and godly officer, Commissioner Harry Read, made a statement that has helped me in the raising of my children. He said: “Make sure you don’t get in the way of what the Holy Spirit wants to do.” It was one of those “a-ha” moments that impacted me and shaped the way I started to parent. As parents, we want to jump in and rescue our children from the worries, difficulties and hardships of life. Yet if we keep doing so, then we could be getting in the way of what the Holy Spirit wants to do in them and for them. It’s often in these hardships that God has his greatest lessons for our children, where he wants to deepen their relationship with him and to establish them in their faith. It’s in the hard times that God wants to strengthen our children to become whole and dependent upon him for all life’s needs.

We need to start asking ourselves, how can I teach my child to depend upon God and seek him in the midst of life’s most difficult moments? How can I best teach my child that they need to reach out to God for all they need and that God is enough for them?

Often when we read the story of Abraham in Genesis 22, where God asked him to offer his son on the altar, we fail to see the lessons God had for Isaac that day. As a parent, this passage in Genesis is a hard one to read. How would I respond if God asked me to offer my child on the altar, yet that is exactly what God is asking us to do every single day. God is saying: Do you trust me with your child? Will you put me first even when you can’t see what is going to happen for them? Will you leave the rescuing to me and hand over control? Will you teach your child they need to put God first? Will you help them to see the God who is bigger than their greatest fears? When Isaac was placed on the altar, Abraham had to trust that God would look after his son, and that God would rescue him. That day, Isaac learnt that it is God who provides in the most difficult situations. That God is more than enough! And he will fulfil in us what he promised, before we were even conceived.

If there is nothing you wouldn’t do for your family then “make sure you don’t get in the way of what the Holy Spirit wants to do”.¶

Major Sharon Clanfield is an Area Officer - Brisbane Wide (Queensland Division)

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