From Protected to Projected- Our response to Jesus' challenge (Part 6)
Last week, I shared about a moment when Jesus prayed for his disciples and how we can use that as a guide to pray for our kids. If you missed it, jump here and catch up.
He received them as gifts, kept them and guarded them- John 17:6-7, 12
I think it is safe to say that since you are concerned about the future for your child and still reading, you consider your child(ren) a gift from God. Check. Next, I also think it is safe to say that you’ve done your best to “keep them and guard them”. If that’s the case, do you feel that trusting God to keep and guard them is something you pray for and will release to God?
Let’s look more closely at the words Jesus used when he said he had done this and requested God to continue to job. The Greek word that Jesus used for “kept” was /tēreō/ which means to guard against loss or injury by keeping an eye on, maintaining, to hold fast, serve, and watch.* Jesus repeats this word in verse 15 when he asks God to “keep them safe from the evil one”. Protect. I observe that, out of fear, many parents confuse this with the Greek word /koustōdia/, much like the word Jesus used, but a definition different enough to change the entire tone of his task. Koustōdia means to “not prevent escape by constructing a fortress or military lines” and is where we get today’s word for “custody”.
May I challenge you to trust that the gifts we have received from God are intended for us to treasure and maintain, not to take custody of?
When the doctors place the little bundle of joy in our arms for the first time, we gently hold her being careful not to squeeze to tight or let her fall through our arms. Newborns seem so fragile and dependent upon us to care for each need in life. That wrinkly face and bald head eventually grows into a toddler that squirms from the bath towel to run through the house completely naked just for a moment of feeling the greatest form of freedom available on earth. Soon the school years start and much of our energy is poured into capturing the mind of the child with the facts of our world. Somewhere in this haze of putting together the parenting puzzle, our view of protecting this gift becomes our identity. I remember the first time I was known as “E’s mom” and not by my own name. I was caught off guard, but very happy to absorb such a hip title! We all must work to remind ourselves that we have been entrusted temporarily with treasuring the gifts God has placed in our lives. God has greater plans for them than we can ever imagine and our positions in their lives must not get in the way.
For further thinking:
Are there certain life stages, seasons or times of the year when the purpose to all of our parenting gets trampled by the chaos?
What can we do to remind ourselves of the task God has asked us to do (as opposed to the ones society places upon us)?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Feel free to comment below and share with friends or family you feel this will bless. Also, if you haven't submitted your email to get blog lovin' straight to your inbox, please do so.
* Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries. Digital Edition.