I’ve always known it, but I’ve become personally and painfully aware of it once again in recent years.
All children are not growing up in a godly and grace-filled environment. As a matter of fact, all children are not experiencing the love, provision, and prayer they need to grow strong and mature.
This is a harsh reality to accept in our sin-broken world. But in the United States alone, there are approximately 400,000 children in foster care. That number doesn’t quantify those at risk and in need of rescue. These precious little ones are usually scared, insecure, and they’ve experienced so much trauma that it’s hard for them to appropriately give and receive love. Studies show that some of their brains are literally cross-wired by the emotional abuse and negligence they’ve experienced.
When I look back over my dysfunctional childhood, I know it’s only because of the grace of God that I am alive and whole enough to help others. As young adults, Lisa and I made up our minds that our children would never have to be without both of us in their lives. With God’s help and knowing we needed it, we wanted to give them everything we could to ensure their future wholeness. In short, we wanted to raise emotionally healthy adults.
Recently I contemplated what I want my three children to never doubt. I want them to have confident hindsight if I leave this earthly existence before reaching the typical retirement age zone.
1. Children should never doubt their Father’s love.
My children should never doubt my love for them. I tell them often, and I do my best to show them often. As well, my children will never have to doubt my love for their mother. But most importantly, I never want my children to have any reason to doubt my love for God. All of this must be backed up with a lifestyle that demonstrates my words.
Maybe you already saw the parallel direction I was headed in. Children of God need never doubt God’s love for them. He has powerfully demonstrated it throughout His Creation and throughout His Word. God is love, and His Children are well-loved. The best thing about God’s love is that it is a no-strings-attached love.
2. Children should never doubt their Father’s provision.
Sometimes it meant working two jobs, and quite often, it meant we didn’t have all the luxuries that other families could afford. But, my children have never had to doubt whether or not I would provide for their basic needs. Clothes, shelter, and food have always been present every day of their lives. Even today, if my grown children struggle with a basic necessity of life, they know they can ask me for assistance. However, I’m haunted by the fact that my earthly resources have limits.
God’s Children soon learn what an awesome provider He is. He’s revealed Himself as Jehovah-Jireh, meaning that He is the Lord, our provider. He gives His Children strength, wisdom, and the desire to work. But within His exceeding abundance of provisions, He has provided salvation, healing, and a mountain of grace to see us through every day of our lives. God’s heavenly provisions know no limits.
3. Children should never doubt their Father’s prayers.
Soon into fatherhood, I realized how inadequate I was. I was painfully aware of my shortcomings, with no good example lived before me. But I got saved! As a born-again child of God, prayer was the most natural thing. So I prayed for my children even before they exited the womb. Lisa and I even learned to pray for them through spiritual discernment. That is, we prayed about some issues before they even arose. One of the most beautiful things about prayers is that they have no expiration date. They don’t have a shelf-life or a best-if-answered-by date!
Do God’s Children have the assurance of His prayers? Of course we do! In the beauty of the Godhead, we have Jesus, Who ever lives to make intercession for us. Jesus said that if you’ve seen Him, you’ve seen the Father. He declared, Me and My Father are one. But wait! This get’s better. We are promised help with our prayers by the power of the Holy Spirit. He helps us pray according to the Father’s perfect will for our lives. Child of God, be comforted with the knowledge today that you never have to doubt your Father’s prayers for you.
Will, Brittany, and Caleb, as individuals, you are uniquely wanted and cared for. Even though I’m a saved man, I realize that I’ve still been an imperfect father. But regardless of when that season comes, I trust your hindsight will grant you confident memories of my love, provision, and prayers for you.
Child of God, it’s time for you to look up because that’s where your help comes from. Our Father in Heaven loves you more than we can fathom. His provisions are exceedingly abundant with no limitations. His prayers bring comfort to our souls, knowing He has a perfect plan.
I’ve heard it said that it’s never the wrong time to pray?! I suggest you only pray on days that end with the letter “y.” If you’re not a Christian, today is the best day for you to learn more about what I’ve been sharing and become a child of God.
If you are a Christian, why don’t you pause right now and thank God for His love, provisions, and prayers over you? You’ll be glad you did.