As disturbing as this image may seem, it is an accurate depiction of what happens when plans are not determined by an all-encompassing purpose, unless of course, in this case, the purpose is to cause personal injury.
In Ephesians 1:5 we see that God planned to adopt mankind. This adoption, God’s plan, could only be accomplished through His all-encompassing purpose: to display His love by offering His Son as the atonement for the distance placed between man and God by our sin. Since God the Father makes His plans based on His purposes, doesn’t it make sense that we should follow this pattern?
But you already do this don’t you? If you purpose to get away you plan a vacation right? If you purpose to get a raise you plan to prove you deserve one don’t you? If you purpose to make a difference in your community you plan to get involved in politics, civic organizations, or in the local school right?
So what would you say your plans are for saving the life of your child? Not necessarily their physical life but more so their human existence and eternal destination? Seneca the Younger, a first century Roman philosopher, said, “Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” Sure we want our kids to be healthy, successful, productive members of society but how do you plan to make that harbor?
Have you considered that the purpose you have for your kids might be best communicated not in the plans you make for them, but by purposing to “adopt” just as you have been “adopted”? When your kids experience your parenting they benefit from it, but isn’t that your job? When we fail to parent our own kids it is called neglect. When we fail to parent every kid it is just called minding our own business. The irony in this is that the God we serve patterned parenting by giving up what was precious to Him in order to adopt “a wretch like me.”
This is not to say that every kid is our personal responsibility, but it is to say that if we filter those we decide to “adopt” based on perceived “wretchedness” Lord willing God our Father won’t go by the same standard.
A good test of our plans and purposes would be to ask, “If I keep this up, am I shooting my kid in the foot?”