So often we hear the word stewardship and we think of “time, talent and treasure.” Good old T3. If you’ve been in church for any time at all, you’ve likely heard stewardship in this context. We have been ingrained to focus on those things that the church preaches and teaches during the generosity emphasis. (At least I hope the church is preaching it!)
Years ago it was impressed upon me that stewardship goes way beyond T3. You see, God owns everything we have – absolutely everything. He owns the cattle on a 1,000 hills – he owns the hills! Nothing exists that He did not bring into being. “…for the world is mine, and all that is in it.” Psalm 50:12b (NIV – emphasis mine)
That means that God owns my family…my children. Psalm 127:3-5 tells us: “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” (NIV – emphasis mine)
To be a good steward, not only am I to have my possessions, my time, my talents laying in my open palms, lifted to God as an offering to Him to do as He desires, I should also have my children in those same open palms. For they are His – a gift to Andrea and I – that we have been blessed to steward during our time on this earth.
So like you, we have done the best we can to love, teach, nurture and yes, occasionally to rebuke, our children. And all along, we have offered them back to God, asking in our prayers that He would bless and protect them; that He would use them to glorify Himself and His kingdom here on earth.
And as God promises, He has poured out blessings that overflow our capacity to hold them all. We are truly blessed by our son Ryan and our daughter Ashley.
Last year we did what many parents did around the country. We loaded up the car and escorted our two children off to college. This is Ryan’s third year and Ashley’s first. We are officially empty nesters, and honestly, I’m not sure I’m enjoying it just yet (though my friends and family tell me that we will). As I walk by the empty bedrooms down the hall from my own, I reflect on the many years of memories God has given us with these two. We are truly grateful for the reward God has granted us through them.
As tough as it is to begin letting go, I remember the definition of steward: a person employed to manage another’s property, a person whose responsibility it is to take care of something. We have managed, as best we know how, these that God has given us. And today, after again praying for God’s continued blessing in their lives, for their protection, for His use of them to glorify Himself and His kingdom, I am reminded that they are His, stewarded by us for a season, and offered back to Him to do with as He pleases.
And really, when my children are offered to God in palms that are fully open, rather than being held tightly in clinched fists, is there any better place for them to be?