Last week, Debbie Hitchcock took some time to answer a question from a young mom.
Please tell me this is something that ALL mothers have struggled with.
I struggle with knowing how or if I love God more than my son?
I am blessed today to share with you the other part of her response (click here to check out part 1).
I’m at a different stage of life now. God blessed me with not only the one son, but four precious children who are now young adults. I struggled with letting go of each of them, but one in particular, until I realized that I was the one in the way. God literally allowed my heart to be ripped in two by forcefully prying this child from my protective loving arms. You see, when children become our sole purpose, our very breath, our cherished love, most likely we will begin to live in fear. Fear that something will happen to them, fear that someone will be mean to them, fear that we won’t be there for them, fear that they’ll make the wrong choice, and the list goes on. We can become so enmeshed with our child that they don’t grow to know how to live without us or us without them; or worse yet, their goal will be to separate from us leaving all ties behind.
When God created our children, he created a separate human being. Our job is to teach our children to be separate from us knowing that they can trust God to take care of them. Our job is to let go and encourage independence. How do we know?
Genesis 2:24a Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother…
That’s our job; to raise them to leave. If we love our children more than we love God, then we won’t be able to let go. We will be so emotionally connected with our child that God won’t be able to use us or them for His purpose. Our job is to promote emotional independence as soon as they are ready. Trust me when I say that they are more likely to be ready for that independence before we are. We need to make conscious choices to entrust them into God’s care early. By doing so, we have to rely on God to get us through the fears of life. This draws us closer to Him.
Eight years ago I was going through a painful “letting go” process with one of my children. I searched the scriptures to better understand what part I played in this difficult situation. That time of grief birthed our parenting course, Generations. I was drawn to the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel. In her barrenness, she cried out to the Lord in great anguish and grief asking for a son. She promised God that if he would just give her a son, she would give him to the Lord for all the days of his life. God answered that prayer, and when her son no longer needed nourishment from Hannah’s breast, she took him to live with Eli the priest. Now here are her words that hit me like a ton of bricks.
1 Samuel 1:27-28 “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” (Emphasis mine)
I can’t even imagine what it must have felt like for Hannah to take her only child, her toddler, to be raised by someone else. That had to have been the longest journey she ever made! Yet chapter 2 has her prayer that starts out “My heart rejoices in the Lord!” You see, Hannah had put her trust and love in her Savior. She knew that no matter what happened, God would meet her there.
That is the key! I didn’t get it when my children were growing up. I was too busy filling myself up with my children’s love, their affection, being everything my children needed, when in reality, I needed to be parenting with the goal of letting go, preparing for them to leave my care, giving them back to God trusting that He has their best in mind. The best moms learn to hold their children loosely, knowing “who” they really belong to. To have a deep connection and trust with our children’s creator will help us be the best parent each of our children can have.
You’ll do fine, girlfriend! Just keep enjoying your son, letting go little by little, and trusting God through it all. It won’t always be easy, but through it both of you will be stronger. Remember that God has plans for both you and your little one.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
And as I learned to say…
“Let go…and let God,”
Thanks Debbie, for sharing your wisdom! We love hearing it! I invite you to all check out Debbie’s blog and subscribe!