On the day a child is born, our lives are forever changed. We tried to prep for this day by buying all the necessary toys, clothes, and accessories. We tried to prep for this day by stocking up on diapers, wipes, and burp rags. We bought all the books we could find, talked to all the wise people whom had gone before us, and prayed hard. We even bought books about making our own food. We thought we would be ready. Yet who is fully ready for the adventure of parenting?
God made us parents asking us to train up these children in the way they should go in the hopes that they would not depart from God’s truth (Prov 22:6). With each day, they grow older and more independent so that they need us less and less. Yet as they grow independent from us, we pray they grow increasingly dependent on their Heavenly Father.
With this trajectory in mind I have some promises I want my children to hear.
No matter what. You need to know that you are loved. I know I don't say it enough and I hope I say it more. But please know that I love you more than you'll ever know. I may not always show it perfectly or communicate it well, but don't doubt how much I love and desire what is best.
Always. I thank God daily for entrusting you to me, and I pray for him to watch and guide you through all your days. Understand that in prayer you can bring all things to God, and know that he listens and responds. You will need help each day as you traverse this world, and connecting with God through prayer will give you strength, encouragement, and hope. I will continue to lean on God's strength, and I will never stop praying for you.
I'm going to check in on you and you will probably get annoyed with it. Please allow me this. Sometimes I need to hear your voice to have a proof of life and know you are okay. I want to know what is going on in your life because you are such a part of mine. I don't need to know details but I will drink them in when you offer them up.
I am trying my best, but at times, I will get things wrong. Be patient with me. Sometimes I still feel like I have no clue what I'm doing. So extend me some grace and I promise to do my best to be patient with you too.
He loves you perfectly. You are his and he redeemed you with the most precious thing there is: his blood. Never forget this. God blessed us with being your parents but your life is not ours. You belong to your Heavenly Father. We rejoice in knowing how much God loves you.
We are pointing you into a relationship with Christ Jesus. Day by day, we want you to know the blessing of a relationship with the God who made you. As move from dependence on us to dependence on God stay connected through prayer. Pray in seasons of joy, seasons of sorrow, seasons of lament, and seasons of pain. As you follow your own calling, know that God has your path secured. I pray you find comfort and peace in it as I have.
We are parenting using God's word to show us the way. We know life will be better for you if you embrace it as well. Of all the books and preparations, God’s word has been our most reliable and faithful guide. The important preparation was leaning on God and guiding my children to know their Heavenly Father who loves them.
Oh, and all the food books about healthy eating and making the food for your infant? Yeah, I made a freezer full of pureed food, and my children hated it all. And now we can't seem to keep enough food in the freezer to satisfy them! Oh the irony. Scripture alone is able is reliable for life’s journey.
Rev. Dr. Rob Toornstra
Rev. Deb Koster