Do you promise to provide, through God's blessing, for the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of your children, looking to your own Heavenly Father for the wisdom, love and strength to serve them and not use them?
And as you are typing this, if the angry neighbor drives down to tell you that your children (way too old to be doing things like this) are ringing doorbells and running away all through the neighborhood, you will remember the promises that you have made on behalf of them..even when you want to sit on them...or ground them for life. That is where the test begins..in those moments when your children let you down...and when you think they can handle a little freedom and they prove that they can not.
It is our privilege to serve the children that God has entrusted in our care. Don't get me wrong, it is much easier to serve the children who don't have FAS and RAD...who disobey at every turn and who humble us at by their behavior that looks like it is a result of bad parenting. We did not have children or adopt them to make us look good or to serve us in any way, thankfully. Parenting is not about us..it is about what we can give to our children not what they do for us. For me, it is a joy to serve the children in our home who are obviously disabled. Feeding, bathing and teaching our sick and disabled children is physically tiring but it is an honor to serve them in that way. It is much more challenging to serve our children who have FAS--they tire us emotionally and we can lose sight of the hope that we cling to...the hope that one day they will be able to begin making choices that do not have serious implications for them in the future...like jail time. And we will cling to the hope that God will draw them near and speak into their hearts the truth in a way that they can comprehend.
And cling we will, because one of the same children who got into trouble earlier just shattered the large patio door double pane window...something I don't think will be easily replaced.... and it is suppose to snow soon. I have no words to say to him right now that would sound anything like the promises I am about to make on Sunday..and so I will retreat for a few minutes and calm myself down as I pray for wisdom in dealing with this situation without the threat of bodily harm. His recent behavior scares me because this is the child that we actually thought had a neurotypical brain...the Lord has made it abundantly clear these past few months that we are parenting not 9 but 10 of our children with special needs. At times like these when if I don't laugh, I will cry, I don't mind relinquishing all worldly claim upon their lives--I can tell myself that they are God's kids--not mine..
Do you promise, God helping you, to make it your regular prayer that by God's grace your children will come to trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins and for the fulfillment of all his promises to them, even eternal life, and in this faith follow Jesus as Lord and obey this teachings?
With all of my shortcomings and failures, there is one thing that each of my children can be assured of. For as long as we are able, we will pray for them every day.
We will continue to pray as we have since before they were born, that they would come to love the Lord with every part of their being. We will pray that they will cling to the promises that we have all been given in Christ and that they will find salvation in Him alone. We will pray that God would help them to develop their spiritual gifts and that they would delight in using those gifts to serve him all the days of their lives.