Have you heard the saying, “Having kids is like having your heart walk around outside of your body.”?
Well, this didn’t mean much to me until I had my first kid in November of 2019. Before this moment, the quote above actually sounded a little cheesy if I’m being honest. Until the moment that you experience it for the first time…the first time you realize the thing you love beyond what you ever imagined now lives in the world, and not just any world, but one that is broken and filled with people who might just not care to protect them in the same way you do.
This is a very vulnerable feeling, and as parents, this leads us to one of two places, control or surrender.
I am an expert when it comes to option one. This is my most natural instinct when it comes to momhood thus far. The thought process usually goes a little like this…I love my child the most, so I am the most equipped to protect, shield, and ward off any evils, hurt, or hardships that might encroach on them.
This means I must always be aware, present, and on guard. Ready to defend against anything or anyone that provides this potential threat. This might include anything from a potential choking hazard lurking in a corner, a child in the nursery on Sunday morning who might snatch up the best toy or be an expert name-caller, evil kidnappers hiding behind every aisle in the grocery store, a future girlfriend who might break my son’s future heart, or even a future teacher who might not be as gracious with his or her words towards my child as I would hope they would be.
I’m serious, these are the thoughts that keep me up at night.
Please do not hear me say that it is not our job as parents to protect and nurture our children. Yes, there are things that we do in wisdom to help love and protect our kids like baby-proofing the house and teaching them to look both ways before crossing the street.
However, what about the moments where our control just doesn’t extend to? The moments where our control seems to be nothing but an illusion? As parents, it is not our job to protect our children from a broken world. That is impossible. Our job is to prepare them to go into the world with the tools they need to navigate it.
And the beauty of this is, the God who loves them even more than you (Romans 5:8) goes before them (Deut 31:8). He is the God who created them (Psalm 139:13-14), knows them (Psalm 139:15), and the God who has a plan for them (Psalm 139:16). He is the one who is more than equipped to protect and shield them from the evil one, and He has done this through a much greater act of love than we as parents could ever express–by sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for them (2 Tim 4:18; 2 Thess 3:3; Rom 12:19).
As for hardships and heartbreak, Scripture tells us that we will experience these things in the world, but we can take heart in that Christ has overcome them all (John 16:33)!
Surrender is a beautiful thing when the One you are trusting your child to fits the description above. Praise God that He is who He says He is, and that He meets us with new mercies every day as we seek to trust Him each day with the lives of our kids (Lamentations 3:23). I’m Praying these truths over you today as I speak them over myself as well!
“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.” – Psalm 5:11-2
Looking for a community or someone to grab coffee with who is in a similar life season? We’d love to connect with you and get to know you better! Below you will find a few people that can’t wait to meet you, shoot us an email so we can make a plan!
Tyler OJ Campus
Teresa Ator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bethanie Tayler: email@example.com
Tyler UB Campus
Max Heller: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chrisleigh Heller: email@example.com
Molly Pontius: firstname.lastname@example.org
Debra Kirby: email@example.com