The Bad Parents
By Tammye Hamilton
I looked out the living room window to see Jon in the front yard talking with our neighbor. Mr. C was a godly, retired teacher we loved and respected.
Mr. and Mrs. C were a wonderful blessing to our family. They watched out for our children and were like the grandparents our children didn’t have living close by. When our oldest wanted to be a lifeguard, Mr. C got up early every morning for weeks to coach her so she could pass the test.
Now she was 22 and headed to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a missionary. Her next step was to complete her midwifery training in the southern Philippines in an area known to be an al-Qaeda stronghold.
When Jon came in the house, he was visibly upset. Mr. C had heard where our girl was headed and how dangerous it was there. He wanted Jon to know that most of the missionaries had left the area after a bombing and that two were recently kidnapped by terrorists. (All things we already knew.) He chastised Jon for letting her go.
We would have more conversations like this one. Some with family members, how could we even consider letting our precious daughter go to such a place? What were we thinking? One friend said, “I love my child too much to ever let them do such a thing!”
They all meant well but were we bad parents? We knew in our hearts this was God’s plan but we didn’t know for sure what would happen. We also knew that this was the strong-willed, unstoppable kid we had agonized over when she was small. Would she ever obey?
We knew God made her willful for such a time as this. If we said no now it would be out of fear and it would devastate her. She was not afraid and she wanted to go. In the next few months we held fast to Jesus. We prayed a lot and we stood on His promises to us.
That was over a dozen years ago now. She and her siblings have gone to countries all over the world in obedience to God. As I write this, six of our children are in Haiti, China, the Philippines and Peru. We have said so many goodbyes not knowing when or if we would see our most precious gifts again.
When Charles and John Wesley first had the opportunity in 1735 to make the dangerous trip to America to preach the Gospel, they were hesitant to leave their recently widowed mother, Susannah, not knowing if they would ever return.
When she heard of the opportunity, Susannah insisted they go. She said, “Had I twenty sons, I should rejoice that they were so employed, though I should never see them more.”
In Matthew 19 Jesus told his followers, “Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.”
We feel we have already received more than a hundred times as much in return for anything we have given up just in knowing our children are serving God. We are so blessed and grateful.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4