I felt a little tug at my heart as my husband and I dropped off our youngest son, Joaquin, at his MAPE (music, arts, P.E.) class this morning. He told us that he didn’t need to be walked to class. That he could do it all on his own. He turned 8 yesterday and today he looked so grown up walking alone with his backpack and water cooler in tow.
Two weeks ago, when we went to New Zealand for a ministry trip, we were able to bring Joaquin with us. Our pastors from Every Nation Auckland hosted us in their house. Their sons invited Joaquin to sleep with them in their bedroom. I confidently expected Joaquin to say no because I was sure he would want to be with me. He’s the bunso, you know, my baby 😉 But to my surprise, he said yes to their invitation. And then I thought, “I’m sure he will come crawling into our bed in the middle of the night.” And again, to my surprise, I woke up the next morning with no little boy anywhere near our bed.
Reality is, my baby is growing up. He is becoming more and more independent.
If you can relate with me and see that your child is needing you less and less, then you are probably doing your job right. However, independence from us is not the only goal. What I hope to happen is as my child is growing more independent from me and his dad, he is growing more dependent on God.
I want him to grow up depending on God for everything… for provision, for protection, for wisdom, for security, for love. And I want him to realize that God is the only person that is truly dependable, faithful and powerful to provide for his every need.
How do you help your child become dependent on God?
When he wants something, like a toy, or a bike, direct him to ask it from God. Don’t be too quick to buy it for him. Teach him to pray and believe God for it. Even you will be amazed to see how God provides!
Help him grow in his walk with God. The more he knows who God is, His nature and His character, the more he will depend on Him. Read the Bible to him. Include God in your conversations. Talk about answers to your and other people’s prayers.
Model a life of dependence on God. Let them know you go to God for your needs. Be vocal about your faith. Make it a habit to pray together as a family for the things you are believing for. There is nothing that speaks louder to our children than our own example.