When we found out we were expecting another child, my wife and I were very excited! We have two wonderful daughters and had hoped it would be a boy this time – and it was! Tate Conner Harrison was born this past week and is very healthy and precious!
We are truly a blessed family! Children are a great gift from God! Psalms 127:3-5 says God graciously gives children. We are thankful to God for giving us all three of our children but we realize He didn’t give them to us just for us — we are to raise them for Him so they will be a great blessing. We are to give them back to the Lord. This principle is found all throughout scripture.
God gave Abraham Isaac, fulfilling the promise that many nations would come from him (Joshua 24:3) and Ruth had a son and named him Obed — the grandfather of David who would be a great king (Ruth 4:13-17). My wife and I believe we should give our kids back to God. Now, I’m not talking about sending them back (although all parents have had moments). I’m talking about raising them in the Lord’s ways so they will grow up and serve Him and people all their lives. We must dedicate our children to the Lord and take every opportunity to train them to serve Jesus.
We see several examples of parents doing this in Scripture. Hannah brought her son Samuel and presented him to God (1 Samuel 1:27-28). She had prayed to God for Samuel and when God gave him to her, she gave him back to the Lord. Abraham offered his son Isaac back to the Lord. Isaac was a “miracle baby” since his parents Abraham and Sarah were very old. They didn’t selfishly shield him as their priceless, fragile sole-possession. They offered him back to God. And of course there is Joseph and Mary who brought Jesus to the temple of Jerusalem and presented Him to God (Luke 2:22). When we give the children God gave us back to Him we secure God’s covenant and purpose for their lives.
Giving our children back to God shows we love Him more than we love them. Children are a prized possession and parents express that in great ways. So much that sometimes we allow them to replace God — they become first in our lives.
Everything begins to revolve around them and can dissolve our relationship with God. Sure children take lots of time and need lots of attention but not so much that it replaces our relationship with God. I’ve seen parents start to compromise things like church attendance, bible study, ministry callings, and areas of service and replace those with their children’s activities. This doesn’t mean your kids cannot be involved in activities. But if those activities are causing you to compromise the areas I mentioned above then you are grossly out of balance. Giving our children back to God shows Him we love Him for Him.
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Stephen Harrison is associate pastor of Family Church at White Hall.
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