I sent Grant a text this morning about a couple of our children - the latter half was a realization I'm coming to slowly and reluctantly: "I have to keep in mind that becoming doesn't happen without adversity."
They are all learning and growing in wonderful ways... but it's hard learning and hard growing. They have difficult people and situations in their lives and it is hard for me to patiently guide them through it when my flesh wants their problems to just go away for them, so they aren't so tempted, aren't so challenged, aren't so flawed. It occurs to me just now that if that's what my flesh wants, that Satan would probably like that too - he'd love for them to sink into the status quo, ignorant of right and wrong, flowing aimlessly along toward a life that leads to destruction.
Seeking the Spirit over the flesh this morning, I asked God for direction and found myself frustrated when I landed in John 18. The last thing I am looking for when I need reassurance about my children is the betrayal and arrest of Jesus, but I know deep in my heart that the Cross is what leads to the Crown... so I dug in. And in John 17-18, Jesus allowed himself to be found of me. John 18 references Jesus' High Priestly Prayer in the chapter before, so I turned back there and found some beautiful words and promises and prayers awaiting me there... equipping me to pray well for my children this morning. God was so gracious to give me a clear path of action forward.
God first reminded me what my role as a parent is. I am to:
"accomplish the work that [he] gave me to do" (John 17:4)
manifest his name to the people I have been given (vs 6)
remember that they are HIS ("yours they were, and you gave them to me" - vs 6)
give them the Words of Life that I have been given (vs 8)
He then equipped me with how to better pray for them today, and in the coming days:
pray without ceasing that they would receive them and come to know in truth that Jesus came from God, and believe on him (vs 8)
pray that God the Father would "keep them in [his] name, [...] that they may be one, even as we are one"
pray that God would guard them, and not lose them, and that I would do what I can do, by his leading, to guard them and not to lose them (vs 12)
pray, "I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one" (vs 15)
pray that God would SANCTIFY THEM (vs 17)
pray that I might be consecrated, devoted, fully made sacred before God in order to be an example to my children of sanctification and truth.
Sanctification is "the action or process of being freed from sin or purified; the action of making something holy" and it is my deepest desire for my children - for them to be made holy. It is so comforting to know that that is also God's deepest desire for my children, and that He has made a clear way possible for that to happen. Jesus is an advocate for us and for our children! Praying along with him through his prayer in John 17, and directing it toward my children, I found myself so grateful for peace this morning. I have so much work to do in order to be able to fully say as Jesus closed his prayer, "I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them." But it is something I can work towards, for the glory of the Father.