Summary: After we have prepared them... we must release our children to God

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Releasing the Arrows

Luke 15:11-27

Two weeks ago, in my first sermon on parenting I said that Children were intended for and given to us for a purpose.

Our children were designed by their Creator to make an impact on the world. To live for a reason. To set their minds toward a goal. To accomplish a purpose. To count for something in God’s great scheme of things.

You see, arrows are designed to fly. They were never intended to stay in a quiver. The quiver is just a vehicle that carries them until they are ready for release. You might say that arrows were made to be released. They were made to fly.

So it is with our children. They were never intended to stay within the four walls of our home. Our home is a merely a means to prepare them and mold them and straighten and balance them. But the time is coming -- coming very soon, in fact -- when they will be released. They were made to fly.

God once said of Abraham, “For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice…” (Genesis 18:19).

Now ultimately; of course, our children are responsible as individuals before their heavenly Father for the flight they take and the mark they make. But we have to realize that, as a parent, as a warrior, we also responsible to release those precious arrows to the best of our ability.

Carol Kuykendall has written: “Letting go is a God-given responsibility as important as love in the parent-child relationship. Without it, without release, children cannot grow. With it, they gain the confidence and independence to seek and reach their potential in life. ’Give your children roots and wings,’ the old saying goes. Love them and protect them, nurture them with a strong sense of God and family and then -- let them go.”

Releasing our children is an important part of being a parent.

It’s not an easy thing to do… but neither was the terrible two’s, or the colic, or puberty, or toothaches, or their first broken heart.

Why is it so hard to let go? Why is it so difficult to pull back on the bow and just let it fly?

Because it contradicts everything we are as parents!

We fear our loss of influence.

We don’t want to give up our parental control.

We have spent so many years taking care of these children who are so dear to us, those who have hatched in our own little nest.

After all, from the day they were born, we have been responsible for their provision and protection. We’ve shielded them… prayed for them… agonized over them… fought for them… fought with them.

And, let’s face it, this business of "letting go” diminishes our role. And that doesn’t feel good.

But we must let go!

In John 3:30, there’s a turning point in John’s ministry where he said of Jesus Christ, “He must increase, I must decrease.”

That describes well the role of a parent with our own children. They must increase; but we must decrease.

Their personal responsibility to the Lord must increase; their personal responsibility to Mom and Dad must decrease.

When you have bonded over a lifetime that began with utter dependence on you and has developed with progressive independence from you, it’s very, very difficult to relax the white knuckles of that parental grip. There’s a sense of loss.

And there’s another reason it’s hard to let go.

It’s not only painful, it’s also confusing.

You would think that smothering your child and abandoning your child would be on opposite ends of the spectrum But for most parents, they’re a razor’s edge apart.

When am I smothering? When am I abandoning? When am I doing too much? When am I doing and saying too little? When am interfering? When am I neglecting?

It’s not easy to know! There doesn’t seem to be any in-between.

>>>>Parenting is like flying a kite.<<<<

In fact, many of our kids would like to tell us to go fly a kite.

When you fly a kite there is always a certain tension.

You are always trying to keep tension on the string. So you don’t give it too much string or it will fall. But if you give it too litttle, the string may break.

The tension is intentional in flying a kite… it is natural in parenting.

But, as difficult as it may be to let go of our children, there are also some real positive sides to it.

There is a sense of accomplishment.

There is a sense of completion.

There is a sense of rightness.

It is done. As Jesus said repeatedly, “I’ve done what the Father asked Me to do.”

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