This article is written by a guest who will remain anonymous.
Here’s an eye opener for many middle aged people…your kids won’t turn out the way you think they will. They may turn out better or worse than you imagine. They may or may not own your values. This doesn’t make them a bad investment. It DOES make them like any other investment with exception that they have souls. There are risks to investing in having children. The difference between kids and financial investments is that when your kids fail to meet your expectations, hopes, dreams whatever it hurts a whole lot worse then when your financial investments let you down. Of course when they exceed the highs are higher too.
I can’t tell you the painful stab to my heart at having my daughter wake up one day and say with all her angry heart, “I am an atheist. You all have been lying to me my whole life!” Then find out later she’s mentally ill. Then to trudge the slow path of healing without guarantee she will ever reach healthy self sufficiency, wow I never saw it coming. What did I do wrong? She’s has been so full of promise. Everyone has just loved her. I’ve been praised for good parenting by others who have known her. What the heck is happening? How could I have been a better parent to her?
If I had known this from the beginning would I have had children? Then the more mundane trials come and the same questions enter in. The answer is always, “There’s no guarantee.” Wow. That’s not what I was told by all those people who said if I parented the right way and did it well my kids would become ____. Now fill in the blank with a litany of good things such as “godly”, “responsible”, “respectful”, “productive,” “self-less”.
If someone suggests you can guarantee good outcomes with good parenting, don’t buy it. It’s not true. Some people will send their kids to public schools with keys around their necks (latch keys), allow them to self feed on hot pockets and have sex. Those same kids may go to ivy league schools and live fairly upright looking lives, maybe even truly upright lives. Some people will love their kids with great intention through every aspect of every day and those kids will leave the faith, resent their “helicopter” parents and rebelliously adopt a totally different culture of life. Ah, you know it happens. And you may think, “Well, those parents screwed up in such and such way.” We all screw up in many ways every day just by being human.
How our children respond to our unique failings is unpredictable. Psalm 73 says it all. Our comfort, peace, security blessing etc all comes from one source. Invest in Him. Invest your children in Him. They belong to Him and we are blessed to be stewards. When they go astray…if…we can still say to the Lord, I am a sinner and you know it; I tried to be like the good servant and invest well. Here I stand claiming the name of Jesus. I love you Lord. You are my peace. My rock. The source of all blessings. Amen. My son belongs to Jesus even if my Daughter’s theology is never correct…god forbid…even if it is God’s will that my daughter not be a child of God…my son is the Lord’s. I must rest in Jesus. Very easy to say. Very hard to do.
Dear reader, may the Lord give you strength for each day to rest in Him and to keep giving your children to Him and to always trust that He is always good, no matter what. And I pray the Lord will multiply your investments in your children in good ways beyond what you can imagine.