Then the serpent said to the parents, “Has God not said, ‘Children are a heritage from the Lord’? For God knows that you are like gods, and your children are yours to enjoy.”
That’s not exactly what Satan said to the first parents in the Garden of Eden, but it’s another common version of the same deception—we can be like God. Even dedicated Christian parents fall prey to this subtle temptation. The Creator has granted us an amazing privilege. He has made us our children’s educators, protectors, and counselors. The sheer magnitude of this responsibility can lead us to think we should be “like God” when it comes to them.
We come to believe we own our children. We will direct their paths. We will guide their steps. We have the power to keep them safe, comfortable, close by. But God didn’t entrust them to us to shield them like three-year-olds forever. Our responsibility is to teach them that they need to follow God. As they submit their will to His Word, He will guide and keep them according to His plan. And He will send them wherever He wants them to go.
We do not “own” the children we have been blessed with.
We do not “own” the children we have been blessed with. They are priceless gifts from God to be trained up in the way they should go—in God’s way—because they are not ours, but God’s. What does that mean?
Our highest concern must be for our children’s hearts and souls—are they learning who God is and what Jesus did on the Cross for sinners? Are we equipping them by modeling how to trust in God the Father, and are we grateful for the sacrifice Jesus made? Are we teaching them diligently, when we sit in our houses, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up (Deuteronomy 6:7)? Are we teaching them to depend on God alone by showing them that we depend on God alone?
Psalm 127 tells us children are like arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior. A warrior’s arrows are intended as weapons for battle—a battle that began for us when Satan camouflaged himself as a serpent and declared war in the Garden of Eden. They are not to be hidden, safe and comfortable, but honed and launched against the enemy. Our children’s God-given purpose is to be released to impact the world for Christ. Our purpose is to sharpen those arrows and launch them into the battle.
We cannot do this by trying to be “like God.” But if, instead, our children learn and grow in a home that is “about God,” He will help us release arrows that will fly straight and true against the enemy’s strongholds.