KEYWORDS: children, parents, god, life, problems, work

Forsaking Your Children for the Lord & His Work

Karen Zerby

Maria #198DO 28623/93

—By Maria

[HomeARC note: This Letter addresses a unique situation which is covered in the Charter (Point 8.I.1.): Every Family child has the right to live with their parents, or at least one parent if their parents are not living together‚ if they wish to, with the exception of the few children who have both parents in WS (… in which case the parents must assign a suitable guardian who will assume the Responsibilities of Parents for the child). These cases are very rare‚ as WS generally does not accept couples without also taking in their children. WS generally only accepts those who are childless‚ or those whose children are grown up, or who are separated from their mates; thus the children remain with the other mate."]

1. Dear One, Thank you for your very sweet letter along with your questions. I would like to be able to just wave a magic wand & make everything better for you & your little ones, but changes take time, & problem situations take a lot of prayer & counselling & hard work to resolve. However‚ I hope it will be some comfort to you to know that the sacrifices that you & your husband are making now for the sake of the Lord's Work are no greater, & in fact not as great, as those you would have to make if you were living a selfish life in the System. The sacrifices you make now in the Family are for the greatest possible cause‚ while the sacrifices you would make in the System would have no eventual "well done, thou good & faithful servant" attached to them. Your Father in Heaven, Who sees in secret the heartache you sometimes go through, will someday reward you openly. (Mat.25:21; 6:4.)

2. Below is a letter I wrote one of your leaders who was herself having some trials over the fact that she & her children often had to be apart because of her work. She said this note was an encouragement to her, & I know she would be happy if I would share it with you in the hope that it may be a comfort to you as well.

3. Dear Shepherdess, I love you! God bless you! I really felt for you when you were describing your battles in not being with your children—not just for your own sake, of course‚ but because the children miss you. It's very difficult, especially when you know that if they could be with you & you could be caring for them & training them‚ not only would you probably be able to do it better because of your years of experience in childcare, but they would be happier, more content, & not having to go through a difficult separation, which results in problems for you, & them, & those who care for them.

4. It makes your heart ache because it's so difficult for them to understand why they can't be with you, or you with them. We feel terrible when our children have difficulties & we can't do anything to prevent it, we can only pray for them. But often it seems that this is part of our (& their) forsaking all for Him & His Work—forsaking mothers & fathers and children so we can put His Work first—& our children having to forsake their mothers & fathers for the very high privilege of being a member of this Family. (Mat.19:29.)

5. When you think about it, most of the mommies in the Western World nowadays are having to also forsake their children as they daily go out into the workplace, usually leaving their children with strangers who are paid to care for their child as well as many others, & who often have insufficient dedication or experience to do such an important job of caring for little lives. And often, & worst of all, they don't have enough love to care for them properly. On top of that, they're thrown in with many other children from all kinds of different backgrounds with all kinds of problems!—All this for financial reasons. Their children experience the same type of problems that yours are experiencing‚ though I'm sure much more intense, & in addition, all kinds of other problems that ours will never have to go through, thank the Lord!

6. Most of these worldly parents & children are enduring all of these sufferings just to "make ends meet." We endure because we know that "the sufferings of this present life are nothing to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us" when we see Jesus. We endure, because if we suffer with & for Him, we shall also reign with Him. (Rom.8:18; 2Tim.2:12.) We & our children have "chosen to suffer affliction with the people of God" for Jesus' sake (Heb.11:25), rather than to suffer affliction with the people of the World for worldly gain. At least our children will grow up knowing that the times their parents couldn't be with them, they were serving God & helping others‚ not merely working to have the same nice house & car & clothes & food as the neighbours. They'll have parents whom they can admire & be proud of, because they're giving their lives to help those in need, & to give them the greatest gift of all, God's Love & Eternal Life.

7. We know that Jesus will care for them even when we can't, & they will learn this too. If we do His business, He'll take care of our children‚ who are His children. Maybe here they'll not always have everything that we would like them to have, but this life is but for a moment, & when they see Jesus it will all be made up to them‚ & much much more! We can never outgive God. Lift up your eyes & look with hope toward the Future, which is as bright as the promises of God!—And try to look past the problems of this life, which is so temporary, to what the Lord has in store for you very soon. The victory is in sight!

8. You & your husband have been good soldiers, & I'm proud of you! Keep it up! I love you!—Love, Mama.