“God tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11).
We live in a harsh hurried culture that often does not gently lead those that are young. It takes understanding the limits and abilities of our little ones in the family to slow down and be patient with their pace.
Jacob traveled a long journey with his family to meet his brother Esau whom he had been estranged from for years. The reconciliation between the two brothers caused a great desire to reunite and journey back to Esau’s home. But the journey had already been far too long for Jacob’s children and the young animals with him. Setting aside his enthusiasm to reunite with his brother he said to Esau, “My lord knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die. So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the droves before me and that of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir” (Genesis 33:13-14). Jacob understood the tender age of his children and the condition of his flock. He decided to go at the pace of the young instead of pushing them forward at the pace of the elders.
How often do your children hear you say the word “Hurry”? Do we consider their pace before our own? If we drive our children beyond their capabilities and push them too hard we will meet rebellion, distrust and death in our relationship with them. I can remember a time when my daughter was quite ill and I so wanted her well. I wanted her healing to come quickly, but God wanted me to be patient. I had a choice: to walk at her pace or push her at mine. I chose to walk with her; the time it took to walk with her actually was to my blessing as it created time to know and grow with her. God developed a close indestructible bond between us – we went from just being mother and daughter to becoming sisters in Christ.
Wait with your child. Walk with them. Not only will your child grow according to the design the Father has set for them, you will grow a relationship with your child that God had already purposed for you both. We serve a patient God who walks with us, so why not model our parenting after His ways. Parent your children with the same character of our God. Parenting is a process of cultivating relationships not a project of producing adults.