What does God say about Parenting?
When it comes to parenting, there is a lot the Bible does not say. God doesn’t tell parents what to feed our kids. He doesn’t tell us if we should be pro or anti-vaccination. He doesn’t tell us if we should send our kids to public school, private school, homeschool, or some sort of hybrid mix. The Bible does not give recommended screen time limits or list an age recommendation for cell phones and social media accounts. God doesn’t give us any suggestions on when our kids are old enough to date and what those parameters should look like. God doesn’t give us a one-way guidebook to parenting, even if at times we may think we’d like one. As the saying goes, kids don’t come with instruction manuals, which is simultaneously freeing and terrifying.
The moment you find out you are expecting a child, your life truly is never the same. You become more aware than ever that you are not in control. As hard as we try so much of parenting is completely out of our control … and most of us really like being in control.
In Mark 5:22-43, we hear a story about a dad named Jairus. Jairus is a Hebrew name which means, “God will enlighten.” What a perfect name for someone whose story brings enlightenment to parents.
Professionally, Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue, a man who cared for the building and weekly Sabbath services. Jairus was used to having a certain amount of control and decision-making power. If there was a problem in the synagogue, you can bet Jairus was going to be in the mix to come up with a solution.
Personally, Jairus was a father whose only child, his twelve-year-old daughter, was deathly ill. How he must have longed to have the ability to heal her. Here, try as he might, Jairus had no control. In his powerlessness, he ran to Jesus and in that encounter, we see a gut-wrenching glimpse of parenthood: “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live” (Mark 5:23)
In my minds’ eye, I can picture this scene so clearly: this well-respected, grown man, broken and desperately pleading, his tears making a puddle at Jesus' feet. I can picture it because I’ve had my own parental fears. I’ve broken down alongside my husband while we processed less than ideal news from doctors regarding our children. I’ve been down on my knees in our kids’ playroom praying through tears for miracles. In my experience, the emotional roller coaster of parenting has meant next level trust in God. But in Jairus’ story we see that Jesus hears parents when they come to Him. He hears our prayers for our children and He goes with us.
After Jesus set out with Jarius, there was a bit of a delay. While Jesus stopped to help a woman, friends came from Jarius’ home bringing the news that his daughter had passed away. But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith” (Mark 5:36).
After arriving at Jairus' house, Jesus took his daughter by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means “Little girl, get up!” And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! They were overwhelmed and totally amazed. Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone what had happened, and then he told them to give her something to eat (Mark 5:41-42).
Sometimes there is a perceived delay in the answers to our prayers. Often, the miracles I see in my life are not instantaneous, no matter how much I wish they would be. Sometimes they are, but more often there is a process. In that time between your prayers for your children and your miracle, remember that God hears you. He is with you. God loves your children, and He loves you too.