Wisdom in Winter – Day 2 – Follow
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
I’m not suggesting I am a complete control freak, but it is true, I do have lists of lists and I might read around three hundred reviews before I buy a household appliance. OK, I might have a slight issue.
Which must make me a great parent, don’t you think? Surely my children appreciate me for visiting eight secondary schools and creating a table of their respective strengths and weaknesses. They positively drip gratitude for my close scrutiny of their GCSE revision schedules – or maybe not.
Today’s well-loved proverb reminds us that we can’t always know or understand everything. It’s about trusting God where we are right now and choosing to follow him each day.
Of course, trusting and letting go can be difficult, especially if we have been hurt. But it’s necessary.
As soon as our little person learns to say the word ‘no’, we are on the path to letting them go. We want them to be independent enough to confidently attend kids’ church on a Sunday or to navigate the dynamics of the school playground without our constant supervision.
Often, trust is something we learn to practise together as a family. We let our child walk ahead of us down the street for the first time (without holding our hand) and display those first glimpses of trust. We give them the opportunity to go to the park with their friends, and when they respond well to that freedom, we know we can probably trust them at a sleepover.
Our journey as parents will often involve many small, incremental steps of trust that develop over time, rather than one giant leap.
We also learn to trust other people with our children. We trust teachers to help guide our children, and we depend on doctors to treat them when they’re unwell.
It’s natural to feel protective, and trust is fragile, but thankfully we know we can always trust God and ask for his understanding. He will guide us, and others will help us along the path if we ask for help.
Personally, I find it deeply reassuring to know that God loves my children even more than I do. As Christian parents, our biggest and best prayer is that they would trust God and lean on his understanding for themselves. As Jesus says,
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
What a privilege it is to help our children know the good shepherd and to learn how to follow his voice. As we read bedtime Bible stories (or utilise the latest Bible apps), and as we pray with them naturally as issues arise in everyday conversations, we are learning to follow him together. As we share about how we trust God, especially in the tough times, we are showing them how to lean on his faithfulness and not our own understanding.
And then, wonderfully, some days our children teach us more about God than we teach them. We get to learn and follow their example. What a family faith adventure!
- How would you describe your level of trust in God today? Are you finding it easy to depend upon him, or is it more challenging at the moment?
- Reflect on the scripture in John 10:27 and spend a few moments listening for God’s voice.
- Think of ways you can encourage your children to know God’s voice and trust him for themselves.
Cathy’s top tip
Let your children see you read your Bible, or share Proverbs 3:5-6 with them and start memorising it together as a family. Spend time praying together and help your children to see how you value listening for God’s voice. Is there something they can teach you?
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