As a single parent you feel the weight of your child’s well being on a whole new level. And let me tell you, it is no walk in the park. I’m not just talking about their physical health and needs (which are significant and hard to manage, especially on a less than ideal budget), but their emotional, mental and spiritual needs as well. I can’t count the number of nights I have tossed and turned, anxious about my children’s state of mind, their fears, their struggles, their future. I know most parents feel this way about their kids, but as the only parent in your kids life, the weight of it falls on you alone, no partner to confide in, pray with, someone who feels the same burden for the babies in your home. The stress that this produces is profound. But in truth, we are not alone as single moms or dads. There is one who carries the burden with us, who wants to ease our anxiety and fears. He holds all things together and he is, really, the only one we can trust with our children.
“One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. When Jesus saw what was happening he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it. ” Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.” Mark 10:13-16
I think there are a few different things this passage can teach us but I’m going to focus on one that stood out to me today. The parents. The parents physically brought their children to Jesus. They not only brought them along, but they brought them specifically so Jesus could touch them and bless them. They did not go to Jesus seeking their own blessing. They were doing what good parents do. Seeking blessings over their children. What a show of faithfulness, of godly wisdom and of true faith! And Jesus not only blessed them, he held them in his arms. He could have just spoken a blessing over them, and sent them on their way. But instead, he took his time. He made sure that the children felt safe, cared for, loved. The picture in my head is beautiful. And I can so easily imagine myself as one of the mothers in the crowd, weeping with joy and relief because Jesus was holding my child and blessing him. I am not doing this alone! Hallelujah, praise the Lord!
This weight of their spiritual well being just got a little lighter. I have brought my children to Jesus since the time of their conception. I have spent many hours in prayer of them. I have wept many tears and prayed passionate pleas for their safety, both physically and emotionally. And those tears, those words, those feelings of helplessness were not ignored. They were received by the one who loves them even more than I do. Jesus has held my babies in his arms, he holds one of them now up in heaven with him. He has carried them through dark times and he has spoken encouragement to their little hearts in the night. He has blessed them with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3) and has promised to never leave or forsake them. He has claimed them and they have claimed Him. I hope this thought brings some encouragement to all the moms and dad’s out there that are doing this on their own. That this picture of a parent sacrificing their own blessing so that their children will be blessed rings true for you. What greater gift can we give our children? What safer place to take them? And what greater legacy for your family, than to teach them to love others this way?
I know my kids will still suffer hardship, and in truth, that is a good thing. Hardship teaches us dependence on the only one who can really satisfy our hearts desires. My kids will still carry some pain and misconceptions from their childhood into their adulthood, because we all do. But they will not walk alone. They have been held and touched by Jesus. They have his blessing on their heads. God will provide wisdom for the parent who seeks it, strength when we are weak, patience and joy in the journey. Now, weary mother, you can rest.