By Sarah Evans
When we think about placing our children in God’s hands, and trusting God with their very lives, the biblical story of Hannah is very inspiring. In 1 Samuel: 8-28, we see that Hannah’s heart is grieved because she is desperate to have a child, and yet is unable to fall pregnant. Finally, she prays to God saying, “If you will indeed give your maidservant a male child…I will give him to you Lord all the days of his life”. Hannah makes the decision to surrender her child’s life into God’s hands even before the blessing of a child is given. Soon after Hannah’s plea, God grants the desire of her heart. God opens her womb, and so she falls pregnant and gives birth to a son, Samuel, which means ‘name of God’ or ‘God has heard’.
It would have been very easy for Hannah to have forsaken this promise and to have gone back on her part of the contract. Once her son would have been born, and she would have held him in her arms it would have become very difficult to actually ‘let him go’, as this demanded that she give up her own rights and put her own plans and purposes for her child to one side. It would have been easy for Hannahto hold on to him tightlyand to forget all about the plan of God, for which Samuel was indeed born. And in doing so she would have turned her back on the very person who granted her the desire of her heart in the first place: her Father in heaven. In the story however, Hannah does the exact opposite and so keeps her promise to God: as soon as Samuel is weaned she brings Him to the temple to start his life of service to God; the creator of life itself.
Samuel goes on to be a faithful servant and is used mightily in God’s hands, and all because Hannah, his mother, trusted her son’s life into God’s capable hands.
From the story of Hannah, we can learn than that our children are not an accident, and so did not randomly ‘fall into our lap’. Our children are not a product of our planning and making, even though we may find this hard to believe. The bible teaches us that children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3), and that it is God who opens and closes the womb (Genesis 30:22). And so, if we have been blessed with the privilege of bearing a child, and/or raising a child (for those of us who have gone through the process of adoption), this is because God willed it, and so He was the one to make it possible.
The bible also teaches us that we are to dedicate every gift that we have been blessed to receive unto the Lord’s work, in order that everything we have been given by God be used to glorify Him (1 Corinthians 10:31). God gives us gifts and talents and children so that these precious gifts be used to bring Him glory. If we do not offer our children as a living sacrifice to God, they cannot be used to bring Him glory, and that is the reason for which they were created. That is why we have all been created.
This does not necessarily mean, that like Hannah we must physically give away our children to work for and live in the church, but what is does mean is that our heart must be completely surrendered to God.
When it comes to our children, we must surrender every desire, every choice, every aspiration, and every expectation down at the feet of God.
We must recognise that God knows our children best, even more than we do. And so, if we are to raise our children to love, fear and glorify God for themselves, we must seek out God’s guidance for their lives, each and every day. We must humbly ask God to help us in this journey, of learning to love our children with the same unconditional and selfless love that the Father continually extends to us. After all, He ‘gave up’ His one and only Son Jesus, that through Jesus’ death and sacrifice on the cross, all of us (mankind) would receive everlasting life. No greater love has ever been shown in that ‘while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Romans 5:8)
Let us ask ourselves the following:
- Do we truly recognise that our children are a gift from God?
- Do we understand that God knows what is best for our children, even better than we do?
- Do we daily lay down our children at God’s feet? Do we seek His direction every step of the way?
- Do we allow fear to motivate us in the decisions that we make for our children, or do we, like Hannah, place our trust in God?
- Is our priority for our children to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, or are we more concerned about their worldly success and material gain?
When we place our children in God’s hands, there is no better place for them to be. In laying down our fears at His feet, and learning to trust Him in taking care of our children,(in ways that we as parents never can) we begin to rest, and receive the peace and joy that surpasses all human understanding. Our children are then at liberty to mature and thrive into all that God has created them to become, and to bring Him all the glory that He deserves.