One of the reasons that the people of Israel refused to enter the promised land was because they were afraid that their wives and children would die, when they went to war against the great ‘giants’ of Canaan:
Numbers 14:3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?
Seems like a legitimate concern — they’re going into a hard battle and of course those big strong men can handle it, but what would become of their wives and tiny little children who were so ‘helpless’?
The Lord is completely infuriated by this comment. In the end, He causes all these noble warriors who were so concerned for their children to die painfully in the desert, while all those vulnerable kids end up conquering the giants and claiming the whole land without any losses!
Deuteronomy 1:39 And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it.
Yet what was so despicable about that comment was, not only did the Israelites fail to trust the Lord to protect them, but they implied that they were the only ones who cared about the vulnerable. God however, was the harsh General, who cared only for the victory and not for the troops. They saw Him as one who gave no thought to who lived and died.
Of course we do the exact same thing when we make our children the excuse for not serving the Lord or obeying His commands; we make ourselves to be the noble ones who show real practical concern for our family — and God to be this disinterested and callous Deity who really does not understand our particular needs.
I mean, as a father myself, if my oldest child came and told me that he should be in charge of my youngest daughter’s welfare from now on instead of me, I wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “Are you telling me you know what she needs and I don’t? Are you telling me that you will provide and I won’t? Are you telling me that I don’t really love her and you really do?”
Just think of what a low blow that is to our Father in heaven each time we use our families as the excuse not to obey, not to sacrifice, not to serve… It’s really quite nasty.
May Jesus help us correct our despicable thinking:
Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.