Child Support – Not Child Ownership

Child support means to facilitate the development of a child according while respecting the child’s needs and preferences. Facilitating development is very different from trying to be the boss of the child. This came first into my mind the day my son was circumcised. But I think every mother and every father can relate to that, because there are so many instances in a precarious life of a child where you are very well aware that you could just have lost your child right now. This could be a sudden spike of fever, or a toddler suddenly running towards a street.Jayson on the rock
These situations led me to think about the report in the Bible where Abraham was ordered by God to sacrifice his son Isaac, for whom he had waited a hundred years to be born.
Why would God issue such a seemingly cruel order to Abraham? One might think God wanted to remind Abraham about His power. But I think this is a wrong interpretation. In fact I think that this is a profound message of freedom. God says “this is my child, you are not the owner. I just entrusted you to care for this human being.”
God has a track record of giving freedom to all of us. He tells us what is good behavior, but He does not force us to behave accordingly. By telling us that we are not owners, but caretakers of our children he reminds us that our children are also free. Our task is to facilitate our children’s development and growth. But we do not have the right to force or push them into a direction, even if we know that would be a valid way for the child’s life.
We have to respect every child as a person on his or her own, as somebody who is just new to the world. He or she is still building the own body and mind. Our task is to support the child by providing the physical and mental environment needed for development, and to act as a guide. But we should not try to act as owner or master of any child.