How to Be a Parent that Has Faith Like Abraham | Ashley Varner
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How to Be a Parent with Faith Like Abraham | AshleyVarner.com

How to Be a Parent that Has Faith Like Abraham

What kind of mom do you want to be?

I’ve been thinking about the parents in the Bible and how I want their story to become my story.

We’ve talked about Hannah and about David and I want to share what it looks like to be a parent that has faith like Abraham.

I don’t know about you, but I want to learn from the stories that are in God’s Word and I want to live those out in my life. That’s the kind of faith that I want to have. One that’s alive and actively changing the way I live.

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Abraham and Sarah’s Parenting Story

The story of Abraham’s wife Sarah has always intrigued me. She had to wait until she was 90 years old before she conceived a child.

To be 100% open and honest, my husband and I went through a time of infertility and we went through a time of really struggling to get pregnant.

I wish that I could have interviewed Sarah while I was on my journey because her experience really translates into a learning experience for me about God’s faithfulness.

Abraham & Isaac: How to Parent with Faith Like Abraham | AshleyVarner.com

Sarah’s story show us so much about who God is and how faithful He is to us.

Sarah, through much hardship, had a son, and many would think that after Sarah had Isaac, that her story would be finished.

But she has so much more to teach us than just that story. After her baby boy had grown into a teenager, his father took him on a trip. God had asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved child, this child that was a promise of a lineage more numerous than the stars.

The Bible tells us that God asked Abraham to do this and (without hesitation) Abraham gathered up all his provisions and his son and they headed to the mountains in obedience.

I wonder if Abraham told Sarah why he was going to the mountains or why he was taking Isaac with him.

I’m sure he was smarter than that.

You don’t tell a woman, especially one that waited 90 years to have a baby that you’re taking her precious child and going to sacrifice him…because that’s what Abraham was going to do.

I wonder if Sarah was confused when Abraham told her, “hug Isaac extra tight, give, give him another hug before we go.”

And I wonder if Abraham had told her if she would have even been willing to go along with the plan. I think about my own children and something in my heart doubts that she would have been easily persuaded.

I don’t want to make it sound like Abraham was skipping towards the altar because he was crushed.

Abraham didn’t want to sacrifice his child, but he knew that obedience had nothing to do with his emotions and it had everything to do with just doing what God said to do, whether he felt like it or not.

Trusting God enough to obey.

I would like to say that if I had been given that same test, that I would have responded the same way. I hope and pray that I would and don’t we all wish that we could have the kind of faith that Abraham had that day.

 

God Has Proven Himself Faithful

Just like Sarah, we can know that God has proven Himself faithful to us.

God had told her and her husband that they would have a son, and he followed through on that promise and time after time, he shows love to us. He extends his hand of mercy to us when we don’t deserve it.

He shows favor to us when there’s nothing that we could ever do to earn that favor.

So, we can (confidently) rest on the fact that He never changes and that He’s completely faithful.

What does that look like in real life? Well, as moms, God has entrusted us with His children. We know that God has given us our children and His faithfulness doesn’t diminish, it endures from generation to generation.

And while our tests might not be as heart wrenching or clear cut as Abraham’s was, I believe that every parent has a choice to make about their child. And it’s a choice that has to be based on God’s faithfulness.

 

The Choice of Surrender

When God has given us a child, we have to surrender that child back to Him.

See, God has only entrusted them to us. And more importantly, God wants us to choose Him over our children. God wants us to choose Him over the children that He’s brought into our lives.

Being a mom who puts God first, even above our own children is the best choice that we can possibly make for our children.

Abraham & Isaac: How to Parent with Faith Like Abraham | AshleyVarner.com

Putting God first is going to benefit your child and if your heart’s desire really is to be a godly parent and to parent with purpose and intention, then the sooner you surrender your kids to God the better.

And remember, you are surrendering your children to that same God who has proved Himself faithful over and over.  Even as I say that, I know that it’s not that easy. Surrender isn’t easy, but I want to tell you something:

The easy seasons in our life are not usually the seasons that produced the most growth.

It’s not during those easy times that you get closer to the Lord; it’s during the difficult times.

It might be the death of a parent or it might be a child that has a sickness. It might be a financial hardship. Those are the seasons that can produce the most growth. Those are the times whenever we can grow closer to the Lord.

Think of a tree, it’s during the hard, windy and cloudy days that those roots borough deeper into the ground. And you and I can be the same way.

That’s what how mature trees end up getting strong and stable and mature because they’ve gone through those hardships.

I’ve truly come to find that anything that is of great value will not come without some measure of difficulty, and as difficult as it is, surrender is an important part of godly parenting.

 

We Can’t Do This Mom Thing Alone

Many young moms find themselves battling feelings of inadequacy and failure.

And TBH, it’s not just something that happens only after we’ve just had kids, but it can follow us through our entire motherhood if we don’t deal with it.

Raising a child should not be attempted without the Lord’s hand and involvement in every area of the child’s life.

We can feel so much like moms that aren’t capable or not adequate enough. But the truth is on our own, we’re not good enough.

And that’s good news! Because we’re not on our own!

Abraham & Isaac: How to Parent with Faith Like Abraham | AshleyVarner.com

God never intended for us to raise children without His involvement. We can’t do it alone. And so those feelings of inadequacy…they’re completely accurate!

I don’t say that to discourage you, but to encourage you because whenever we start to surrender that responsibility that Lord, we start following His leading.

 

A Good Mom or a Godly One?

It’s possible to be a good mom and not be a godly mom.

You can make the best lemon meringue pie in the state. But if your child sees you ignoring the hungry, what have you shown them about compassion?

You can attend every PTA meeting and you can sign up as a chaperone from everything from their first field trip until their senior prom. But if you fail to show them the importance of attending church and being with other people who share their faith, what have they really seen of your priorities?

You can instill in your kids the significance of knowledge and you can pay for your kid to go to medical school. But if your child’s first response to a wound isn’t praying for God’s healing, then what have you really taught them about the true power of God?

Now, please hear my heart: I’m not saying these things to make you feel bad and I’m not saying that doing all those things, making lemon meringue pie and attending PTA meetings and paying for medical school aren’t good and time-worthy causes.

(Because truth be told, lemon meringue pie is probably my favorite kind of dessert!)

All I’m saying is that godly parenting involves so much more than those things and there’s no possible way that we can succeed without the hand of the Lord on us and on our kids’ lives.

It’s only in the act of surrendering your parenting to the Lord that He can really truly use you to minister to your children and raise them the way that He wants them to be raised.

Abraham understood that fact and that is what drove him to obey that day.

He didn’t want to sacrifice his only child and he didn’t understand why he was being asked to sacrifice Isaac.

I’m sure he prayed the entire way on their journey that God would relieve him of the burden.

If I try to put myself in that place, I start to wonder how Isaac felt. We know that he was unaware of what was happening because as he was building the altar that was meant for him, he asked where they would get the sacrifice.

I think that it’s so endearing that when Abraham vaguely said, “God will provide the sacrifice.” Isaac didn’t argue.

He didn’t say, “why don’t we just bring one of the sheep from home?” He didn’t question his father’s faith.

While Isaac could be calm about it because he didn’t know, Abraham was probably warring in his spirit. Just because he knew that he had to obey God, didn’t mean that he wanted to.

See this God who had been faithful to him was now the God that had asked him to do the unthinkable, to give his precious son as a sacrificial lamb.

But our faithful God will never ask us to do something He wouldn’t do Himself.

 

The Ultimate Sacrifice Has Become Our Confidence

Now I want you to imagine the same scenario: a Father leading His Son to be sacrificed. Except when Jesus, God’s Son, was on the cross, there was no ram to take His place because He was already the replacement for us.

That’s how I can be really confident whenever I say that God loves you. My confidence comes from the fact that He’s the only parent who did the unthinkable.

He gave His Son up and He did it for us.

Abraham & Isaac: How to Parent with Faith Like Abraham | AshleyVarner.com

Just like the first verse that every kid learns in Sunday school, “because God loved the world so much, He gave His precious and His Only Son so that whoever believed in Him and accepted His love wouldn’t have to die, but would be able to live forever with Him. (John 3:16, paraphrased)

We’ve all heard of people getting awards for things like jumping in a roaring river and saving a child’s life or of heroes who jumped in front of bullets to save their loved ones.

But what God did that first Good Friday is the ultimate sacrifice and anyone who has had a child understands that. Anyone who has had trouble conceiving and then was blessed with a baby, understands the pain involved in that sacrifice.

Those people, I just mentioned, they risked their own lives and that’s astounding. That is heroic, but there are way fewer stories, if any, about people risking the lives of their children to save strangers, to save imperfect people.

It’s unthinkable. It’s unimaginable.

Yet God did it for us, out of His love for us.

That’s how God has proven Himself faithful.

Before we even knew Him, He had already made a plan to save our lost hearts.

Before we could ever even utter the words to tell Him that we loved Him, He had already paved a way for us to be with Him forever.

While we were still foolish and happily living in sin, He chose to give His Son to die in order to save us from ourselves.

And if that’s not reason enough to trust Him, then I don’t know if there’s ever going to be a way for Him to convince us of His faithfulness.

We want to learn how to have faith like Abraham, but what we really need to look at is not Abraham’s faith, but Who Abraham had a faith in

And that’s the same God we serve.

We can start having faith like Abraham did and pray:

“Lord, I believe that You are a good God. I’ve seen You proved it over and over. And this child is ultimately Yours, so I will have faith. I’m going to give this child back to You and I’m going to have faith that You will do what’s best.”

When we have that kind of faith, that’s when we can start to allow that faith to ripple out to the people around us. Because the best thing that you can do is surrender your life to God and to choose to trust Him.

Surrender your parenting to the Lord and start to see how He’s going to be faithful, see how He’s going to make a beautiful thing out of what you’ve given Him.

Then you can say with Abraham: God has proven faithful to me. He has proven Himself to be trustworthy to me, and because of that, I can trust Him with the children that He’s given to me in the first place.

 

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Abraham & Isaac: How to Parent with Faith Like Abraham | AshleyVarner.com
Abraham & Isaac: How to Parent with Faith Like Abraham | AshleyVarner.com
Abraham & Isaac: How to Parent with Faith Like Abraham | AshleyVarner.com
Abraham & Isaac: How to Parent with Faith Like Abraham | AshleyVarner.com

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