Several years ago, when I was at my wits end with one of my kids, someone recommended a book When I Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent. I’ve often thought about that title and how it applies to our daily lives, especially as we parent.
With more than a decade since I read her book, the words seem to be following me recently. “Am I ready to lay my Isaac down?”
For those of you who might need a refresher of the story from scripture, Abraham had a promise from God that he would be the father of many nations. It wasn’t until Abraham was 100 years old that Isaac was born. As the Word tells us, at one point Abraham was told by God to sacrifice his son. Yes, kill him!
It was as if God was saying, “Who do you love more–Me or your son Isaac?”
While that seems absolutely unfathomable for us as parents that God would ask any one of us to take our child’s life, an even more profound question would be, “Would you trust God with the outcome?”
If you remember the ending of the story, Abraham chose that God knew what was best. He went to make Isaac a sacrifice, but right before laying him on the alter, God provided a ram to take Isaac’s place. It was as if God was saying, “I just want to see if you trust me. I just want to know that you will listen to my voice and heed my instruction.”
As parents, most of us love our children with our whole being. We would do absolutely anything for them.
But think about Abraham for a moment. He was 100 years old! He had waited a century for his child to be born. How easy it would have been to wrap all his attention, all his resources, and all his time into Isaac and put him up on a pedestal to be front and center in his life. How easy to revolve his whole world around this child making all of Isaac’s wishes come true.
And then I have to pause.
Do I love God more than I love my children?
Am I willing to give up my child’s desires to focus on what God wants for my child? For me?
Do I love my child so much that my world revolves around my child’s world?
Definitely something to think about in a culture that is so child centered.
It is easy as moms to love our children too much. Yes, you heard me right–too much.
We can love our children so much that we:
- Make sure that we solve their problems for them.
- Intervene when they are forgetful and come to the rescue.
- Do everything in our power to not let them fail.
- Expend all our energy on our kids rather that doing other things that we’re called to do.
- Are too busy to spend time with God because our new spiritual gift is driving our kids places.
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
Isn’t that what we want as moms? That God will bless our offspring because of our obedience to a mighty God who loves us so deeply that He wants relationship with us.
Don’t we want that for our kids?
Dare You to define your relationship with God in your choices as you parent. Chose to lay your Isaac down and love Him and give your kids to Him in the process. It doesn’t mean that we’re not there to walk beside them. It means that we allow the struggles and we allow God to orchestrate their path, so that they learn that they have a need to depend on God instead of us in their time of need.
“Let go…and let God”,
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