"In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world." (John 17:18 MSG)
Jesus released the disciples to serve God's purposes.
As a parent, I am responsible to protect my kids as they're growing up, but that doesn't mean I protect them from taking risks for the glory of God. You can be so over-protective that you do not release your kids emotionally or maybe even physically to do what God wants them to.
You say, "Sure, I want my kids to serve God, as long as they stay here in the area" or "Yeah, I want my kids to do what God wants them to do. They can follow his plan and purpose for their lives, as long as they live down the block. They can do whatever God says as long as they don't do something that's dangerous, where they could be hurt or killed."
It is natural as parents not to want your kids to be hurt. But let me ask you this very frank question: Are you willing to let God be God in your kids' lives?
Or, are you still trying to be God in their lives? You have to let them go. I've seen some parents try to control their children's lives even after they are married; yet, the Bible teaches that for marriage, "a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, and they become one" (Genesis 2:24 TEV).
The point is this: It is God's plan for children to leave and, as parents, we must teach them while we have them, but then let them go to serve God's purposes.
Jesus said, "In the same way you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world" (John 17:18 MSG). The whole goal of parenting is to eventually release your children. From the moment they are born, you are preparing them to be released into the world, not to hold onto them or control their lives for the rest of your life.
Talk About It --
- Talk about what you think of this statement: It is God's plan for children to leave and, as parents, we must teach them while we have them, but then let them go to serve God's purposes.
- What are ways you are preparing your children to be released into the world?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.