Karen Barnes's picture

This is the start of a new year, which always brings about excitement and a hope for the future. It also brings about the possibilities of change and the “letting go” of things in the past. We say goodbye to the old year and all its troubles and achievements, then say hello to a new year with new ways of doing things, even if it’s not easy!

As we watch our kids grow, there are things that are constantly changing within them as well. They used to play with blocks and dolls, but now may be moving on to electronics and more sophisticated amusements or hobbies. They used to have to hold your hand crossing the street, but now they can skateboard, bike or walk clear across town by themselves.

While it’s inevitable, and brings a certain amount of joy to us as parents, its not always easy watching them become more independent. They relied on us for so long as infants and toddlers for their every need – we could regulate what was happening to them on a daily basis, and that control is hard to relinquish.

This is where our Heavenly Father comes into the picture. For those who don’t know Him, who aren’t close to His loving heart and can hear His calming words, it can be much more difficult to rein in that automatic desire to monitor their every step and tell them how to do things. However, when we DO have a relationship with Father, He understands our concerns and gently leads us to loosen our grip as He tightens His on His little ones! Turning our kids over to God and trusting HIM to lead and guide them is difficult, but He gives grace and direction as we step out in faith.

When we allow our kids opportunities to make those small mistakes, we are actually allowing them to learn – isn’t that how WE learn – by our own mistakes? If we allow them the time to hear God for themselves and begin to walk out what they hear, won’t that make them more susceptible next time to heed His word even more? It works for us, and it also works for our kids – no matter the age – all are the same in His eyes!

Our part is praying for them and covering them as they learn. We can ask Father for His great hand of protection to be over them as we also ask for them to learn wisdom and get understanding. We can pray WITH our children, allowing them to express themselves during prayer however they need to so they learn what it feels like to come close to the Throne honestly and simply. But we must also be ready to “let go” and sometimes allow Father to speak to them before we correct them. He so wants to be a part of their lives and lead them. If we continue to do the “correcting” and “leading”, when will He get a chance?

Now I’m not saying to take your hands completely off the discipline and guidance of your children, but if you ask, listen and WAIT for His reply, He WILL give you specific times when waiting for God to move will be so much more beneficial than speaking to your child yourself! This is the time He’s wanting to build that relationship with Him from the start. We don’t always need to intervene, and it will make for stronger, more confident sons and daughters not only for you, but for the Kingdom!

The days are getting more intense in the world as Father gets ready to call out, “Closing time”! More than ever our little ones need to be able to hear the voice of the Lord for themselves and be ready to move on a moments notice if necessary – and we won’t always be in the immediate vicinity to shout out directions! We need to take the time to help them develop their ears and eyes in the Spirit. We can still hold their hand – just not so tightly!

Go to God today and ask Him how He wants you to begin releasing your child more into His charge and how that should look. He’s faithful to tell us if we’ll just ask and listen. Remember – He is a Father as well!


Karen’s calling is to bring children into the manifest presence and glory of Jesus, lead them in experiencing His deep abiding love, clear unmistakable voice, wise Godly direction for their lives, and to ignite a spirit-led passion for serving Him in many ways at any age.

She is available for children’s and adult conferences, retreats, church dates, camps, leadership training and regional equipping sessions. Fire For the Nations hosts a summer camp for kids and periodic kids mission trips during the year. Her first book, KIDS CAN is now available in both the CWG and Fire For the Nations bookstores. For more information on the book or to schedule dates, check out the website (www.fire4thenations.com), or email her at [email protected].