As I was looking at my calendar recently, a thought hit me that I often try to avoid thinking about – my children are growing up, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve already watched one leave the nest, get married, and have children of her own. I thought I would surely die when she was gone, but somehow I survived having others here at home that still need me. But I look at my four children that are still here at home and wonder where all the time has gone. I have memorized their sleeping faces in their beds a million times, kissed countless boo-boos, tried to hug away broken hearts, and thanked God for every single second I have with them. It is so hard to fathom how quickly it all goes by. One day you are holding them so close to you as they sleep in your arms and whisper, “Mommy, I love you.” Before you can blink, you are looking up at them because they’ve grown taller than you, and they are offering you a hug instead. The days just go way too quickly and the years pass before you realize. That is why you have to care for them, nurture them, teach them as God has said, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 NIV).
I will always pray for my children’s health, their safety, and their happiness, but my biggest prayer for them is that they follow Jesus for all of their days. I pray that they don’t do as I say or as I do, for I am not perfect. Rather, I pray they do what Jesus says and as Jesus did. For Jesus loves them more than I ever can and He is with them all the times that I am not. I may hurt them with my words when I am angry, when I am tired and don’t feel like listening, or when I don’t have enough patience with them, but Jesus will never hurt them. He always has time to listen, He is always patient, and He is never angry. He is perfect and is their perfect example when we, their earthly parents are nowhere near it and are struggling ourselves and calling out to our Heavenly Father for guidance.
My prayer for my children is that they always look to their Heavenly Father before they look to me, that they open their hearts and minds to what He is trying to teach them, and that they know that I love them as much as a human heart can love, but that Jesus loves them more.