Women & Theology: Parenting and the Providence of God
“A girl told me today that she wanted to stab me with a pen and watch the blood come out.” My mouth dropped and my eyes filled with tears. “What?!” I exclaimed, horrified. “Yes, Mom I tried to help two girls who were arguing and one of the girls said that to me.” Our then seven- year-old son had been attending public school since kindergarten, a decision that my husband and I came to prayerfully. We simply could not afford Christian school. That decision weighed heavily on me and though the public school he attends is one of the best around, I was still burdened by our choice. Immediately my mind rushed to self-condemnation, doubt and anxiety. “It’s all my fault," I thought. If my son were in a Christian school, this would never happen.
As God’s providence would have it that night, our family devotions were on the Sermon on the Mount. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.” From the time he was a child, Aidan evidenced faith. At dinner that night we talked about what peacemaking really looks like. We spoke together of the way Jesus made peace, by the blood of His cross. We spoke of how we can face a harsh and unloving world around us without retaliating and fighting back.
Aidan told me at bedtime, “Mom, this girl must be going through a lot to say something like that.” We prayed together that night for his heart, for her heart, and for wisdom from above. Aidan wanted to go to school to make peace with this little girl and become her friend. I was touched he loved Jesus enough to care about the girl who wronged him.
But I still questioned our decision. Had we been wrong to send him to public school? Were we to “blame?” The peace of Christ flooded my heart when I spoke to the teacher about the incident. I had been praying for weeks and months for an opportunity to witness to this teacher. As we spoke on the phone, I told her that our Bible reading that night was from the Sermon on the Mount. I explained that Aidan wanted to forgive the little girl and show God’s love to her by making peace. The teacher said she had never heard a response like that.
The Westminster Confession of Faith says this in Chapter 5 “Of Providence”:
God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness and mercy.
God rules, upholds and directs his creation. He rules over our choice of putting our son in public school. He rules over the heart of my son. He rules over the actions of the little girl. He rules over the teacher assigned to my son that year. And providentially, he ruled over the choice of the devotional that night.
Seminary taught me of God’s character more than anything else. It showed me that I worship a powerful, perfect and Holy God who ordains all for my good and His glory. I worship a God who rules over me in such a way that not a hair can all from my head without Him knowing it.
Does that excuse me from responsibility? Absolutely not! But it does and should move me away from anxious fear to godly trust. I can trust, in fact, that God allowed this sad incident to show my son that though this world is not “safe” ultimately, He is!
Myriam (Jones) Hertzog graduated from WSCAL in 2001. She now lives in Philadelphia, PA. In addition to raising 3 boys (8, 5 and 5 months), she works part-time at CCEF as their Development Coordinator.
This entry is part of our Wednesday series on Women & Theology. Check out other posts in the series here!