I’m reading through the major stories of the Bible again. Every time I read the Abraham and Isaac story I cringe. I wonder about the sort of God that would make a boy go through the turmoil of being bound, placed on an alter, and having to watch his own father raise a knife to his throat. I wonder about the type of father Abraham was not to protest on behalf of his son, or why God would make him do such a thing in the first place.
After I wonder all those questions, my mind usually travels to my four kids. I think about how they would feel in Isaac’s shoes or what I would do if I were in Abraham’s. And I have no words.
When Liam was born, Jenna and I gave him back to God. We didn’t go through a formal dedication ceremony as getting our family in town at the same time is like landing a plane at JFK. But still, we gave him back, sacrificed everything we wanted for him and prayed that God would direct us to raise him and give him what God wanted for him. We’ve done this for all our kids.
This is why we set boundaries and deliver consequences,
Why we bring them consistently to church to be with their small group,
Why we allow them to make mistakes and sort out their arguments,
And why we strive to be their best parent rather than their best friend.
There are moments when I want to take back the promise. It’d be easier to skip church every so often, perhaps more fun if we just mindlessly played the Wii all the time, or solved all their problems for them.
But that would be doing life on my terms, not God’s.
So yes, I read this story and understand why God acted as He did. And while I question, I also need to trust that God’s plan for Abraham was best.
And in turn, recognize that His plan for me is too.
We’ll continue to strive for godly parenting. We’ll make mistakes and fail, but we’ll get back up again and continue working towards raising our kids in the way they should go.