Monday, 12 November 2012

A Letter to the Parents and Parents-to-be...with love and hope attached.

To all you Mums and Mums-to-be, Dads and Dads-to-be...

I'm not a parent yet, and though there is a desire within me to become a Mum, I am pretty sure its going to be a longer time than I used to think until I have children.  I have it planned though, six children, Mariarmi, Liscali and Marisiva, followed by twins, James and Matthew, and the little toddler called Bethany.

I approach you with just the experience of being a child, and watching my own parents, and my brother step into that role too. I come from a large family which has an abundance of children. So though I'm not personally experienced in parenting, I've had my fair share of experience with children.  Still my ideas have little basis, but please will you just hear this one thing?

Children are the most amazing, remarkable, inspirational people, we have a lot to learn from them, their outlook on life is so beautiful, and filled with so much hope! If I could be even the tiniest bit like a child, I would be happy.

But a child grows and as they grow, parents have to help them, guide them, teach them.

I really don't want to try and give you a lesson on parenting, I am inexperienced and would have little to base my opinions on; I just really want to ask you this one thing.

I want to ask you and ask you and ask you; please will you do young people a favour? As your child grows into a young person, will you let them own their faith? Will you give them the opportunity to be independent in their faith? Will you let them make their own choice?

This isn't about trusting your children, this is about trusting God. This is about that deep, deep longing inside of you that your children will come to understand the love that God has for them, and it’s about giving them the space to find that love for themselves.

This is about stepping out in your own faith, and trusting that God will guide your children towards Him. For my parents this meant letting me go alone, letting me go to Church without them, letting me not follow them, letting me find my own feet without them watching my every move.

They could not have done anything better, my faith became my own, I stopped relying on my parent's love and faith and hope and support. And started seeking a personal relationship with a God who loves me, as they stepped back they gave me space to allow God to become top of my life, I could make my own choice to follow God.

I would love to tell you how to know when your children are ready, but I don't, you have to be vigilant, ready to step back and allow God the space, without making your children feel like you've forgotten them.

It’s a hard balance, and a line that only you will be able to find. But I promise you, I would not have the faith I do if my parents had not entrusted me to God.

They let the strings go enough to let me fall and find my own feet in God's Kingdom. They didn't leave, if it had gone wrong they were right by me ready to catch me.  For a while it did seem to start slipping away, we're all vulnerable, and life on the earth as it is, is never going to be perfect, but what brought me through was the people God had put around me.

I truly believe that part of the growing up process is realising that your parents aren't the only people out there who care. There are other people who are willing to love you, to help look after you, to teach you. And that is not de-valuing parents in any way whatsoever, it is letting young people grow into the world they live in. Forming their own connections and relationships.

I am not saying that I am some model of perfection, but what I am saying is that I am very, very grateful to have had the opportunity to search for, and grasp a faith that is wholly my own.  I cannot think of anything better than to be able to have a relationship with God, His love for me keeps me going, and I don't know where I would be if I had not found that love for myself.

Don't rush. Wait for the right time to come. But trusting God with your children's faith could change this world.

I love and am so grateful to have my own faith, I would be over the moon if others could have something of what I have.

I can’t quite explain it properly.  But I just hope you understand what I’m trying to ask you?  Will you as Mums, and Dads, and Mums-to-be, and Dads-to-be promise to entrust your children’s faith to God?

I hope you understand,
Grace Elizabeth.

I am trying to dream big, will you dream even bigger?  Comment below and share with me how you think all this should be approached, thank you.