By Amanda Idleman, Crosswalk.com
Parenthood is one of our greatest tests of faith.
I never questioned God until I was given a tiny, fragile baby that I loved more than my own flesh to take care of. Suddenly all the evil in the world transformed from a distant idea to a real threat. My faith fell into crisis mode.
I needed to know that this God I’ve trusted for my whole life was reliably good.
Ultimately, the faith growing quest that motherhood sent me on is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I think we all need those true coming to Jesus moments to decipher how tried-and-true our faith really is.
These seasons expose the half-truths, gimmicks, or whatever “easy answers” that may be carrying us through. We will all face a moment where easy answers won’t cut it in the face of life's trials.
My quest for answers sent me to one place: the Bible. I had to look a little closer to find out more about this God I eagerly gave my life to as just a kid. What does the Bible say about parenthood?
Let’s explore 6 ways God’s Word offers us comfort and a reliable hope we can trust.
1. God Promises to Gently Lead Those with Young Children
Isaiah 40:11 says, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”
This passage of scripture is talking about all the ways God comforts His people and He names those with young children by name! God sees parents.
He knows we are burdened, tired, scared, and have a terrifying amount of love for our kids. God promises to gently lead us in this season of life that requires special strength and all the grace.
I stumbled across this passage last year when I really was feeling overlooked by God as a Mother. I truly felt like the Bible had something to say to every other phase of life other than parenthood.
When I read these words they jumped straight off the page and acted as a warm God-hug for my heart! It meant so much that the Word of God specifically promises extra grace for me as a Mom because I feel as though I need all the grace I can get.
2. When We Are Faithful to Do His Good Work, God Promises Good Eesults
Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” As believing parents we have an amazing gift in the Holy Spirit who gives us supernatural strength so we don’t grow weary.
God graciously equips us with the strength we need to be the parents He wants us to be.
More than that He offers us a beautiful promise that says when we keep at it, there is a beautiful reward to be had! Like the joy of watching your kid love others well because you first loved them. The pride of seeing them excel in an area you encouraged them in. The joy of leading seeing them accept Jesus into their hearts as their own Savior.
When we are diligent to sow God’s goodness into the lives of our children, He is faithful to bring a harvest in their lives.
3. He Knows Them BEST, and Wants the BEST for Them
Luke 12:7 tells us not to fear because God even knows how many hairs you have on your head. I love how personal this verse is. It reminds us as parents that we didn’t make the kids we’ve been given, He did!
He knows them better than we ever could. He knows their thoughts, the nooks and crannies of their personalities, and what their future holds.
Beyond just knowing our children God tells us that He has good things in store for them. Jeremiah 29:11 is a verse I pray over my children often.
These words remind them and me what God’s heart is for them. God has good plans for them and a hope-filled future. God desires and even plans for the best possible outcome for our children’s lives.
1 Timothy 2:4 declares that God’s heart is for everyone to come to salvation. God’s spirit is actively pursuing our children’s hearts. God wants your kiddos to find truth even more than you do. It can weigh heavy on a parent’s heart when our kids wander away from faith, but we can rest in the knowledge that God doesn’t give up on them.
He loves them with a relentless, unending love.
4. God Promises a Good Ending for Us All
Life can be hard. As a parent the “problem of evil” can become an overwhelming issue that makes it hard to trust that we serve a good God. For many of us it’s a struggle be able to reconcile suffering, sickness, death, and heart-ache with a trustworthy God.
The scripture is something we have to lean into when we are overwhelmed by the worries of this world. Revelation 21:4 is a beautiful reminder that God promises a great ending to our story.
He promises a future with no more tears, pain, or death! That may seem like a distant promise, but life truly is short. When our kids face difficulty it’s important to step back and take a view of the situation that includes eternity.
We are raising eternal beings, which is why how we parent is vitally important. Reminding them and yourself that God will work it out in the end is one way to infuse hope into a hard moment.
As parents, we don’t have to live with fear because when it’s all said and done, we know that God is in control.
5. Only He Is BIG Enough to Care for Them
The bible in 1 Peter 5:7 invites you to “cast your cares upon the Lord because he cares for you.” As parents, we rely on our vigilance, forethought, and ability to worry as a fail-safe to prevent our kids from experiencing harm. The reality is that despite our best efforts, protecting our children from all harm is beyond our ability. We really have no choice but to surrender their futures over to God.
This fact is both humbling and terrifying! Thankfully, God tells us that He cares about the birds, the lilies, and the grass; but he cares about you even more (Matthew 6:26-34).
Ultimately, our children are God's. He alone knows their full story. We can trust His word when He says He is going to work that story out for good (Romans 8:28).
6. God Loves Them!
Most of us have probably memorized John 3:16 as it is one of the most famous verses of the Christian faith. This verse is so popular because it gets straight to the heart of what makes Christianity so compelling.
We believe in a God that showed up on earth for one central reason: He so loved us.
He didn’t have to come. He didn't have to suffer on our behalf. The Bible explains that we all have sinned and consequently deserve death (Romans 3:23). He came because He doesn’t want us to perish and desires that we all share in eternal life with Jesus.
Sometimes we struggle to trust God because we ourselves don’t fully understand that He loves us. The Bible paints a picture of a gentle, caring, humble, and serving God. He wrote a book and told the story of His love over and over again so that we might believe.
God brings perfect peace to those who seek to know him (Isaiah 26:3). If you as a parent struggle to trust God with your children then begin to seek to know God more. He is faithful to reveal His loving nature to you and give you peace that only can be found in him.
I endured a relentless struggle with anxiety as a new mother. I could not trust that God would take care of me and these little ones I loved so dearly. I knew my faith needed to grow if I was going to make it as a believing Momma.
This pushed me to lean into my faith with a new passion. Seeking God through prayer, learning more about the Bible, and exploring hard questions alongside other believers. While I’m not perfect, I’ve found access to a well of God’s peace that I didn’t know existed.
The greatest test of this peace for me came last fall. I was out at a friend’s house when I received an ominous text from my husband saying “come home now.” I called him and he calmly explained he has called 911 and our sweet newly 5-year-old son was having trouble breathing.
I rushed home not knowing what I was about to walk into. When I had left home that evening my son was 100% healthy. I honestly had no clue what could be happening to him and if I was going to have my son much longer.
By a miracle rather than panic I prayed. I prayed for God’s perfect peace to cover our family. I had studied Isaiah that year those were the words that first came to my mind.
I prayed that God would heal my son. I knew that God would be with me in the next terrifying moments because I finally understood that He loves me and my son.
When I got to my home, I jumped into an ambulance with a boy that was struggling to breathe but I was calm. God protected my son that night in a situation that I had no power to prevent or control.
Thankfully, by God’s grace, he even remembers that night without fear. All he talks about is how fun it was to ride in an ambulance.
To me, the fact that He was spared from death and fear shows that God’s grace is abundant to meet the needs of my kids.
We can’t stop bad things from ever happening to our families but we can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when we need it, God’s peace is available to us.
I invite you in your parenting journey to let God’s word be a lamp unto your feet (Psalm 119:105). Let His promises fill your mind and be a source of peace in your life.
You are never alone in this journey. He is always there and His grace is sufficient to meet our needs and our kids’ needs (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for the Daily Bible Devotions App, she has work published with Her View from Home, is contributing to a couples devotional for Crosswalk, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda at rvahouseofjoy.com or follow her on Instagram at rvahouseofjoy.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Gabriel Baranski