10. Parents should welcome and give prayerful consideration to prophetic input regarding the divine destiny and unique calling on each of their children. This prophetic input could come through means like: dreams, visions, angelic visitations, prophets, prophetesses, prophetic words from fellow believers, prophetic words from intercessors, etc.
One of my readings this morning (April 19, 2020) was in Luke chapter 2. As I meditated on this chapter I was strongly impressed to add this 10th principle to our study on Marriage and Family from Jesus’s life and teachings. This principle is also important for Grandparents to ponder and practice.
Can you imagine being appointed to birth and raise the Son of God? Well that was Mary and Joseph’s assignment. One of their great challenges in raising Him was going to be seeing Him as God sees Him or as He should be seen. Even though Jesus never sinned, He was a normal human baby in every other way. He probably cried when He was hungry or with wet uncomfortable diapers. He probably peed and pooped whenever and wherever He felt like it until He was trained to do otherwise. He probably had normal child like curiosities. He probably wanted to be held at “inconvenient” times, etc. So the temptation for Mary and Joseph would have been to see him in the natural or through the lens of the flesh and not in the Spirit. . He also was their first child, which means they had no childrearing experience to lean on. So they needed help from something outside themselves. And God faithfully gave it.
So where did their help come from to see Jesus as He truly was? Well first it came from angels via dreams as can be seen in the following two passages:
Matthew 1:18-21 “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Luke 1:26-35 “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city inn Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.”
Then their much needed help came from Mary’s cousin Elizabeth:
Luke 1: 41-45 “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”
Then it came from a group of Shepherds:
Luke 2:8-19 “In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a savior, who is Christ the Lord. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. “ …… So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart……”
Then from an old godly man named Simeon:
Luke 2:25-35 “And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation, Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, And the glory of your people Israel.” And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed – and a sword will pierce even your own soul – to the end that thoughts from many hearts ay be revealed.”
Then from observing influential Magi worshiping Him as a child:
Matthew 2:10,11“When they (the Magi) saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
Finally from Jesus Himself as a growing child:
Luke 2:48-51 “When they saw Him (in the temple) they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house? “ But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.”
OK. I can hear some of you challenging, “Of course Mary and Joseph needed all this help to understand who their baby/son was. Only once in history will a set of parents be asked to birth and raise the Savior of the World, whose amazing life would then be snuffed out at 33 years old on a criminal’s cross!”
No, none of us will ever have an assignment quite like that. But the problem we have that they didn’t have with Jesus is our children (and grandchildren) are born in sin – a disease of the soul that unfortunately manifests as soon as their little personality and will begin to form. And it will dog them every day the rest of their lives.
When we are having to deal with that day in and day out, not to mention spiritual warfare, it is very easy to see them more in the flesh than in the Spirit. It is very easy to focus on their problems and sins and shortcomings than it is on their God given destiny and calling. And the way we see them at any given moment greatly affects the way we parent them.
Most of us are familiar with the Proverb, “ Train up a child in the way he should go. Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. This “way” I believe is according to their God given calling. It is discerning the way God has uniquely wired and gifted them. Only when we can accurately and consistently see that, can we be successful in doing our part to help them become what and who they need to become. And we can only accurately and consistently see that with the Holy Spirit’s help through all the various means He used with Jesus’s parents.
Left to our own devices, we will not be able to see our children (and/or grandchildren) through a spiritual lens. Rather we will tend to see them through a natural/fleshly lens, especially when their sin manifests itself, or when spiritual warfare erupts (remember Satan and his demons hate every one of your children).
Now in trying to make this point, I realize I have left out the crucial role of scripture in both seeing our children as God sees them and in helping them see themselves as God sees them. Only when we are thoroughly grounded in scripture can we even understand, much less experience the role of dreams, visions, angelic visitations, prophecies, etc. Much of the identity our children and grandchildren have been given by our gracious God in Christ is written in very clear terms in the black and white of scripture. Please do not hear me down playing this. We must have the objectivity of scripture to effectively handle the subjectivity of the prophetic and supernatural experiences. But it is the objectivity of the scriptures that helps us see the importance of these various ways that God still speaks apart from or besides or along with the scriptures. Sometimes it is the supernatural experiences we have in life that opens us up to aspects of the Scriptures we have to this point been blind to.
Obviously intercessory prayer for our children and grandchildren is crucial in this process. The living God, who created your child or grandchild, created them with tremendous forethought and uniqueness. He has great plans and intentions for them. And He would love to share all of that with us as we learn to seek Him and depend on Him for that revelation.
Finally, many of us have had our hearts broken by one or more of our children choosing to live foolishly. Sin always has serious consequences, and I’m not encouraging anyone to sweep their child’s sins and destructive behavior under the rug. But I am saying that if we only see them through that lens, we will not be able to help them get where they need to get. Actually it is when they are in times of rebellion that we most need the Holy Spirit’s help through any and whatever means to see them as He sees them.
May the Father help all of us to roll up our sleeves in the Spirit and learn to see the way He sees, so we can parent the way He would have us parent for His glory, in Jesus’s name. Amen!