I have always loved the story of Moses and his family. I love how God used this family to protect their son and save a nation! I am greatly encouraged by the fact that we serve the same God today—a God who still possesses the power and provides the wisdom we need to raise godly children in the ministry. We do not have to lose our children while we attempt to save the world!
Our Christian school hosts a fine arts competition each year. When our oldest daughter, Danielle, was in the eleventh grade, she entered the Bible teaching portion of the competition. Being that she was in other areas of competition that were scheduled around the same time, she was quite frazzled and in a big hurry when she got up to teach. She was teaching on Jochebed in the first person. She started, “Hello, boys and girls, my name is Ichabod.”
Danielle realized by the way my daughter Kristine and I were laughing that she must have said something wrong. So, a little flustered, she started over, “Hello, boys and girls, my name is Ichabod!” More laughter.
She started over three times before Kristine and I could control our laughter enough to whisper to her that she was saying “Ichabod” instead of “Jochebed.” Suffice it to say, the glory had departed!
We (including Danielle) have laughed over that episode many times. But in all seriousness, I don’t want “Ichabod” written over the door of my home!
If Jochebed kept a journal or a diary, I wonder if it would read something like this: Journal: My heart is overwhelmed. Today Pharaoh ruled that all male Hebrew babies will be placed in the Nile. I wonder if this baby will be a boy. The Lord knows what is ahead, and I will have to trust in Him.
Jochebed trusted God, and though Proverbs 3:5 was not yet written, she obeyed its command: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” When it comes to parenting, we must trust God and not ourselves.
Trust God with Circumstances
The events surrounding Moses’ birth were not an easy pill to swallow for this family. When Moses was born, Jochebed did not throw her arms in the air and say, “Oh well, I trusted God and look what happened.” She simply chose to respond differently!
If we can’t change the circumstances, then we should change the way we respond to them, just as Jochebed did. Too often, we trust God to only change the circumstance instead of trusting Him to change us in the circumstance. If you are currently in a situation over which you have no control, trust God! Thank Him for the opportunity to prove Him and grow closer to Him.
Trust God with Your Child
Don’t ever forget that, first and foremost, our children belong to the Lord. When we recognize this truth of ownership, it is much easier to trust God with our offspring.
We often think that it is so hard to leave our children in God’s hands, yet I am thankful that I’ve never had to leave my baby in a basket in a crocodile-infested river! We can learn a lot about trust from the example God gives us in Jochebed.
As your children grow, learn to trust the God-given authority in their lives. God knows who your children’s teachers, youth pastors, and principals will be. Even when an authority figure disappoints you or makes a decision differently than you would have preferred, God is still all-knowing. He can work all things together for good, including things related to your children! Support those who have authority over your children, and work with them in bringing up your children for God.
There will come a time as your children continue to grow when you must “cut the apron strings” and begin to let them go. I can imagine how very difficult it must have been for Jochebed to take her hands off of that basket and to leave Miriam there to watch Moses.
Trust God for Wisdom
I pray my life’s verse back to God nearly every day— Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Frequently, I find myself asking God to show me something great and mighty that I don’t know in regards to parenting. I need His wisdom.
Clearly, each child is unique. I have four children, and they are all completely different. Most of the time, I feel like I need four different parenting strategies! So, I regularly ask the Lord to give me the discernment to know how to deal with each one individually. I need wisdom to know when to be quiet, when to keep talking, when to discipline, and when to show grace!
Trust God for the Outcome
Jochebed did everything she could do, but ultimately she put Moses in the river and trusted God for the outcome. We know how the story turned out, but Jochebed had to trust God by faith.
We have to learn to “let go and let God.” I love the illustration of the little boy whose hand was stuck in a very valuable vase. His parents tried everything they could to get his hand out, and nothing worked. After several hours of working to get his hand free, the vase had to be broken. As the vase broke into pieces, freeing his tiny hand, his parents saw for the first time that his fist was tightly clenched. As his little hand opened, everyone saw that he was clinging to a piece of candy! If only he would have let go of the candy, he could have easily taken his hand out of the vase. Perhaps you need to release your grip on the little things in life before God breaks your vase!
How did it turn out for Jochebed? God gave Moses back to her and paid her to nurse and nurture him. God is so awesome! This type of outcome is the product of parental trust. Jochebed had to realize that God was in control, and she had to learn to trust Him, not knowing what the future would hold.