- Michael Sitko
I am sure every parent in history has felt at some point or another that the era in which they lived had to be the worst time in history to raise children. Well, I got news for you, this isn’t one of those articles. :) I am actually excited for the day and age in which we have the privilege of growing our children up in. We live in one of the craziest times in human history. There are more people alive on the earth today, than have ever lived from the creation of the earth until today. That is amazing when you think about it. As of April of 2017, the United Nations estimated that there are approx. 7.5 billion people alive on this rotating rock floating around our sun.
One of the things that I find so amazing about this time in history, in which we have the opportunity to raise our children, is the amount of kingdom revelation that is being released to the church today on what the kingdom of God looks like and how God intended this “vida loca” to be lived out. God revealed through the prophet Daniel, that in the last days there would be a a lot of travel and an increase in knowledge. Well, we’re sure seeing that come to pass. Not only I believe in scholarly knowledge of life, creation and the world, but I believe this also applies to kingdom revelation.
One of those revelations that I am most excited about is the revelation of the freedom that we have in Christ. And, I am passionate about raising our children in the knowledge of that freedom. When I grew up, I lived out my christian existence with the burning question “What does God want me to do with my life?” I was on a quest, constantly asking God," if I should do this? or if I should do that?” In His grace, I often felt Him guiding me and telling me what I should do. But then one day that all changed…
I remember it as clear as day. I came to God one morning and asked Him what He wanted me to do in a situation and I can hear His response still so clearly, it was almost as if I had heard Him speak out loud to me. “What do you want to do?” “Ummm, what was that God? I think we’re having a communication issue.” I heard again “What do you want to do? You choose.” What was this, this strange moment that I was encountering with the Lord? "Surely You have an opinion on this Lord! I mean you have a plan for my life right?” Silence… and then I hear His voice once again “I said, you choose.” Yup definitely NOT God!!!! There is no way that God would leave a choice up to me, would He? I mean after all we’re fallen beings right, He of all people should know that we can’t be trusted to make decisions for ourselves? After all I’ve been told all my life that mankind is filled with sin and that all our desires are evil, God can’t possibly want me to make the decision, can He?
Well the truth is I learned something about my Heavenly Father that day. He is interested in His kids and doesn’t want a slave and master relationship with us. He wants a real relationship. I began to discover that He wasn’t afraid of the decisions that I made, because He knew who He was. He knew that no matter what decision I made, that He would be right there with me and we were in Covenant. He had pledged to never leave my side and to always lead and guide my steps in this life unto the paths that He had prepared for me. I suddenly had a wave of exhilaration wash over me. I could choose!!!
Life had a brand new zest to it. No longer was I living out my existence trying to figure out what God wanted me to do, but rather I became alive and filled with the knowledge that He had pre-wired me for the destiny that He had created me for. That the desires that I had within myself, were put there by Him and if I truly began to engage this life with Him by my side, I could begin to step out and make decisions for myself and He would be there to pick up the pieces if and when I messed up.
Well, here I am, so many years later, still chasing after this amazing God who is a giver of life and freedom and I am more fiery and in love with Him then ever. What an amazing heavenly daddy we have. A few years ago I got hold of a book by Danny Silk called “Loving Your Kids on Purpose”. The book began to talk about this relationship of freedom that we were designed to have with God and I quickly discovered that God not only wanted to teach me how to live in freedom with Him but that He also wanted us to model our parenting style after His. The great benefit of this joyous revelation is that we can now teach our children about the freedom that God created them to live in and that we are here to help and assist them in learning to manage that freedom. What a great way of parenting.
Our parenting began to change from that moment on. Our parenting moved from a place of trying to teach our children to manage their sin and trying to control their every behaviour, to teaching them to manage their freedom and to learn to model self control in all areas of their lives.
The truth of the matter is this, we have such a very short time to input and train our children before they leave home. Before they will begin to start having to make big decisions for themselves and we have a choice to make, we can either teach our children to manage their bad choices and try to follow a list of rules or we can teach them to have a relationship with a God who truly loves them, cares for them and will never leave them alone. A God who isn’t afraid of their mistakes and if they will learn to trust Him, they too can focus their time and attention on living out their lives in pursuit of the desires within them, that were placed there by Him and as they learn to manage that freedom, they will become truly alive.