Sovereignty and Children
A blog about discovering a God worth knowing.
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“And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God…But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank.”
Dan. 1:1 & 8 ESV
So one of my biggest fears as a young father was having my son, Ace, abducted. I’m not sure what caused me to even think about it. Maybe it was related to the staggering statistics on human trafficking in areas such as Portland, Oregon but whatever the trigger, it caused many sleepless nights of anxiety and fear. When my wife would visit Portland, I would stress about her going too close to “bad” areas. Areas close to water where an abductor could make a quick getaway. I didn’t fear him getting hurt or even dying nearly so much as him being taken. But I couldn’t fathom another person raising him—or worse.
Then the other night I was tucking Ace into bed and praying with him. He looks at me with complete confidence and trust that I will take care of him. But when he looks at me, I look inside myself and worry that I won’t be able to take care of him. So my two fears as a father were that I would lose him and/or not be able to provide for him.
In Leave Thy Parents, an audio series by Martha, I came across the following quote:
“If you want Him, the work of dealing with parents must be done.”
So my question to myself was, “How can I raise my sons to follow God and not be a deterrent to them?” I realized that both of my fears were issues of sovereignty: first, that God was not in control of my son’s life, and second, that He was not in control of my life. I had to protect my sons since I didn’t trust God to do it; I had to provide for them because I didn’t think God would provide for me.
I love that the story of Daniel begins with “the Lord gave” His people over to Babylon – He was in control of Daniel’s life. Next, Daniel resolved to live as a child of God, in spite of immense pressure to conform to a foreign culture. I realized that I had to trust the sovereignty of God, that regardless of the situation and evil plots of wicked men, He reigns.
When my two sons look to me for provision, I must show them that I’m a child looking to My Father who is my provision. To not be a deterrent to them walking with God, I must model the life of a child completely dependent on and trusting in my Father. Ultimately my sons are God’s children, and I cannot usurp His role or I will bring them into idolatry. That’s where I fail them; the greatest gift I can give the children I steward is to actually raise “children” of the Kingdom, not independent-from-God adults. I’m a recovering Pharisee, the epitome of an independent adult. I want to break the inherent bonds of fearful, God-hating legalism and leave a heritage of the surrendered Kingdom child.