Summary: This sermon describes what to include in your child’s ’suitcase’ when sending them into adulthood


Let me read to you some phrases that a parent says during the child rearing years. See if you have either heard these or maybe even said them …

• Oh, let me hold her!

• How’s my little angel?

• Hush, baby girl.

• Aren’t you sleepy yet?

• It’s okay. Don’t cry

• No, no. Don’t touch.

• Come to Mommy … or Daddy.

• Take that out of your mouth, Yucky!

• That’s not for you.

• You don’t need that anymore.

• You’re a big girl now.

• Tell Mommy or Daddy if you need to potty ... okay?

• Don’t get into your brother’s things.

• Go to your room.

• No, you may not.

• I just brought you a drink of water.

• Get back in bed.

• Pick up your toys.

• Don’t play inside the clothes rack.

• Can you draw a picture for Grandma?

• Hold still.

• Can you remember to bring it home tomorrow?

• I’m sure she still wants to be your friend.

• Did you practice?

• Try looking under your bed.

• Go wash your hands.

• You’re not old enough yet.

• You’ll have to ask your father.

• Where was it when you last saw it?

• Stop teasing your brother.

• Go clean your room. Come set the table.

• Don’t bite your nails.

• Did you do your homework?

• Get off the phone. Eat your vegetables.

• You’re responsible to keep track of your own things.

• Did you tell me it was this Saturday?

• Sure … if you want to use your own money.

• Tell her you’ll call her back.

• Try on a bigger size.

• There’s a boy on the phone for you.

• You may not wear that to school

• Be back by your curfew

• I did not say it was okay.

• Come straight home.

• No, I need the car this afternoon.

• Are you coming home this weekend? Next weekend?

• What do you know about him?

• Have you thought this through?

• I ordered them because I thought you would appreciate them.

• But pink used to be your favorite color.

• Whatever you want. It’s up to you.

• Don’t sit on your veil.

• Call us when you get there.

• Don’t slip on the rice.

• Good-bye, honey

Robin Jones Gunn, Mothering by Heart

Did those statements take some of you down memory lane? When I read these phrases by Robin Jones Gunn from her book "Mothering by Heart" I reminisced over the last 29 years of Vicki’s and my life … The child rearing years … beginning with the first news that we were pregnant with Amber … till the time that Brandon walked down the aisle of the church toward the backdoors with his beautiful bride’s arm tucked into his.

Those were great years … sure there were days filled with bumps, bruises, and scrapes. There were days when you wondered if had the slightest idea as to what parenting was about. But there were many more days when we were so proud we would get giddy because Amber or Brandon did some really neat things that showed they were indeed a person of godly character. Those were good days! And I must admit … it was tough letting them go!

This morning I want to talk to you about releasing your child! Raising them up and then taking our hands off and turning them completely back over to God!

John White put it his way in his book "Parents in Pain" …

To relinquish your children does not mean to abandon them … but to give them back to God and in so doing, to take your hands off them.

There comes a time in our children’s lives that we need to let go! It certainly is not an easy thing to do … but it is absolutely necessary if we expect our children to become healthy adults … to be people who can make it on their own! To be people who can make a contribution to society and even more importantly … to the kingdom of God!

The interesting thing about this is … releasing our child is not an event in which we say "today I have released my child" … it is a process! We start that releasing process the day the umbilical cord is cut ... and it progresses until the day the young man or woman … who used to be your little baby … packs their suitcases and moves out of the house.

We gradually release those children so they can become independent from us! We certainly don’t want our child to be sitting in the highchair and us feeding him or her when he or she is 17 years old! We progress from the days that they are totally dependent on us … to the day that they are totally independent from us! That is the job that God has given us as parents!

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