I started this piece about a year or so ago. And a scripture on Sunday fuelled my motivation to revise, complete and post it. I hope you take something from it as much as I have. Here is an unusual spin on our relationship with our parents:

Everything in this world begins as a tiny seed. Which then eventually needs a medium (pathway/cultivation/system) as well as a process to come into fruition or to exist.

A(n) (oak) tree for example begins with a tiny seed which needs to go through the process of first dying to the ground and then pushing through the earth about 200x its weight in the right context and settings (good soil, light, water etc.) before it begins its journey and years of life. An invention, project or anything of that sort-so let’s say a car-begins with an idea/thought/dream and the person it bears from becomes the medium through which the idea grows. With the right resources, hard work and time, the idea is born.

This is the same for humans. God could have chosen to hand make us physically- clay portion by clay portion and place us in our birth locations- but He wanted a process that would ensure relationship amongst each other for His purpose (I mean, also, how busy would He be? And let’s times that by 1000+ ‘cos it’d apply to all the creatures too and everything that needs to be ‘born’).

That’s why He decided to elevate mankind into parents. Parents are the incubators for our existence. God needed us to be and so He chose to use a vessel/medium to bring us forth.

Therefore the simple definition of a parent is: a vessel/medium used by God to bring us (humans) into the world. Building on that definition however, the two individual people chosen to handle this task (their DNA, character, principles and environment or the lack of) are rightly chosen variables which shape us as a person since the parent provides the cultivation, lessons and environment (or the lack of) we need. Therefore, there are no mistakes. Never the such as a wrong family or environment to be born in.

Parents are very important because they are usually the first encounters of love (representing what Christ stands for) hence why the conceiving and birthing process is so intense (there requiring various attachments to be formed: man + woman; baby + woman; baby + man).

Two parents are needed for one child.

Since parents are mediums used by God to bring us into this world, parenthood is a temporal process.

“…Have you not read that He who made[a] them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’[b] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”(Matthew 19:5). This scripture is in relation to marriage (one of the reasons why parenthood can be argued to be temporal since their ‘rights’ to their child stop when their child says ‘I do’) but if looked at it differently, Christ is saying that the child would leave His parents to materialise God’s purpose for His life.

Signalling that we are individuals here and required to fulfil a purpose. Often at times parents forget this. They forget that yes, they were part of the process to bring us into this world but they don’t carry our purpose. They are there to-as far as physically possible-shape and support us for God’s use. Likewise, the children also forget and get caught up in who they are in a family sense of identity or who their parents are. Before Christ, we are just male and female and He knew the extent to which we attach ourselves to our earthly homes-forgetting that that’s a model for our heavenly home and though our earthly parenthood cannot compare to our heavenly parenthood with God, it’s a model to put it into perspective and help our understanding of God’s love for us and our relationship.

Parents need to remember that they are trustees of the children temporally, hence they don’t own them and shouldn’t treat them how they want or impose on them their ideologies.

Children are individuals in their own right who may one day be parents themselves.

Everything is made by God for God (Colossians 1:16)- including children. So no parent has a right to alter the destiny of their child for their pleasure. The only leading they must give their children is that which should be from Christ. The best thing they can do for the child at birth is what Hannah did-give the child back to God. And no child (no matter how old) should feel guilty of ashamed or scared to pursue their passions and ultimately their destiny because their parents disapprove.

Often the discussion stops at “children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honour your father and mother, this is the first commandment with a promise, so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth Ephesians 6:1-3). Actually, most children (no matter how grown) are abused with this scripture, when in the same breath (the very next verse), it says ” And fathers (parents) do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (verse 4). I tell you this is so deep that when I showed this scripture to a friend, she felt as if she had been liberated from her captivity-thinking her parents had their own side of the bargain to keep and they were pinning it all on her.

As parents, let’s stop trying to extend our lives by forcefully living vicariously through our children. Let’s allow for God to do in them what He pleases. They were created by Him for Him through us. That’s all. We are a third party in their lives. However,lets aspire to deposit in them; integrity, morals, faith, truth and love-for that’s what’s right.

As children, we are to listen, respect and love our parents, but not to the detriment of our dream, purpose and destiny. Let’s keep our eyes focused on God and where He leads us to go. He is our ultimate parent.

Thanks for reading.

Stephanie Foster

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