The third section of the book of Exodus, starting with Exodus 9 begins with God telling Moses, “Come to Pharaoh.” The obvious question is, why does God say, “come to Pharaoh” instead of “go to Pharaoh”? Surely, “go to Pharaoh” is what we expect to hear!
The classic answer is that God is telling Moses and all leaders of the Jewish people after him, “You are not alone. I will be right there in the throne room as you approach, supporting you and guiding you. I’m not sending you on a mission with the word “go,” I am calling you to come to me as you fulfill this mission. Come— I’ll be there with you; you are never alone.
Sometimes mothers feel the responsibility of parenting until it feels like a burden on our shoulders. We need to remind ourselves that parenting is also a “Come” mission from God. He doesn’t send us off to parent on our own, He is right there alongside us. We know that there are three partners in every child; a father, a mother, and God. God’s role doesn’t end at birth. He remains an active partner with us and fortunately, His role in parenting is infinitely more powerful, loving and effective than ours. God is present as our partner. The burden is not ours because the mission is come rather than go.
There is another aspect here that I want to share with you and it is how we can use this message in raising our children. There is a world of difference in sending our child to do something as a “go” mission, versus a “come” mission. Challenging our children in any way works best as an, “I’m with you,” message rather than a, “go off alone,” message. I recently heard a great line, “The only direction I can push someone is away from me.” Whether we are encouraging a young child to do something small or asking an older child to stretch beyond their comfort level in a larger way, we too, can learn from God and give a message of “come,” I will be with you as you do this. You’re not alone.
Most frequently, when our children know that we support them and are there to help them if needed, they run off independently, and happily do whatever the current challenge is. Pushing them to go off and do something hard because we think it’s good for them as a push, a “go,” “go on your own,” isn’t nearly as effective as a message of “come”. The task is still a mission—Moses still had to do something difficult, but he knew he wasn’t alone. The awareness of constant, unwavering, generous love and support enables all of us to be independent and reach higher. The message of “come” isn’t one that God only gave to Moses, or to all future Jewish leaders, or just to parents. It’s one that we can internalize and offer to our children as well when we remind them that we are unwaveringly committed to being there with them as they grow.