God Is a Better Parent than We Are


During my week at Word of Life Florida, I preached a series called “Samson: A Thoroughly Modern Man.” On Friday morning I wrapped up my final sermon by talking about how Samson came back to God just before he pushed the pillars apart and killed more than 3,000 Philistines (Judges 16:23-31). Along the way, I pointed out that Hebrews 11:32 mentions Samson as part of the long line of men and women who lived by faith. But when you read his life story, you see faith mixed with all sorts of human weakness, including a bad temper, a tendency to seek revenge, and repeated episodes of moral compromise. Yet the writer of Hebrews includes him in the Hall of Fame of Faith. Off the cuff I said something like, “I love that part of the story. He was a mess but he made the Book.” That fact alone ought to give all of us hope. Afterward, a woman came up to Marlene and thanked her for something she had mentioned last summer when we were at Word of Life in Schroon Lake, New York. The woman has a son, who in some respects, is a lot like Samson. Although raised in a godly home, he has decided to go his own way. It’s not that he has openly rejected his faith. It’s more that he has chosen to follow the ways of the world, especially in his relationships with women. Like most parents, she has tried to give him advice, but it has not always been well received. Because her son is an adult, she doesn’t know what to say to him, and every time she does say anything to him about the way he is living, it seems to blow up in her face. Marlene told her that she had been greatly helped by the thought that “God is a better parent than we are.” He loves our children even more than we do, and he understands them far better than we ever will. If we believe that, we can have the courage to release our children into the Lord’s hands. He has a million ways to reach our children when we can’t even say one sentence right. He knows what they need better than we do. Especially with adult children, there comes a time when you have to let go. That’s always hard, but it is doubly hard when you see your grown-up children making bad choices. But letting go doesn’t mean giving up. It just means letting go of the need to always tell them how to live their lives. It means loving them with no strings attached. And it means trusting that God can do what you can’t do. God is a better parent than we are. Love them, and let God take care of everything else.

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