No matter what religion you practice or believe in, we all know the story of Abraham and Isaac. How Abraham hears Gods voice one day and what he hears is that God wants him to leave with his son Isaac, and in that process, sacrifice him.
Abraham was probably beside himself with shame and guilt for having cheated on his wife Sarah, but we’re not told that. We’re also not told that he was probably eaten up with anger at Sarah when she pridefully shunned Hagar and cast her out into the desert with Ismael, Abraham’s other son through that extra-marital affair. All we’re told is that one day, after years of marriage and probably surviving every problem imaginable together, without even giving Sarah a head’s up, Abraham takes off in the woods with their only child.
Abraham and Sarah had a dilemma on their hands. The Bible only focuses on Abraham’s point of view, but it wasn’t just Abraham who was charged with raising Isaac, so for the sake of modern times, let’s include Sarah. Abraham’s dilemma was that, after they prayed for a child, watched his child be born, and raised him, he had to let go of the future of his child. Sarah’s dilemma was that after praying for a child (having him only after divine assistance), giving birth to him, and raising him, her husband was taking him away, I’m sure without her consent, to end his life.
You may look at the story of Abraham sacrificing his son and go that’s so not possible, only an insane person would do that.
People do that today all the time.
When you fall in love, have a child, and then divorce and you lose custody of your precious child (or you’re never married in the first place, and the mother just does what she wants and doesn’t include the father), it happens because we build a place to burn our child’s future – with all their anger, greed, jealousy, guilt, the mother and father build an alter just like the one Abraham did, and we set our child on it to burn. God doesn’t want it though, just like he didn’t want Abraham to burn Isaac, so he sent Abraham a ram (which was the proper sacrifice for the day and time period of the story). Now a days in 2013, the “ram” is simply not butting heads. It’s two parents, separated or together, not clashing horns. It’s speaking to each other, being humble, and working together for what is best for the child – even if the parents can’t stand being together.
When your ex wins custody, or in the case of an unwed mother, the ex simply takes the baby and doesn’t include the father that pain feels exactly like a living sacrifice, because the noncustodial parent has no control over their child’s future. They experience exactly what Sarah did when Abraham left and took their child – their child that they both prayed for, watched be born or gave birth to, they both raised – there is no greater pain. All you can do is pray for God to help keep your child safe, for God to soften the heart of the custodial parent, for God to build a bridge that pride, greed, fear, jealousy, and control destroyed. Abraham (and the unspoken other half Sarah) were both blessed because God gave him the ram so Isaac didn’t have to die – so his father and mother didn’t have to both stop building a future for Isaac.
Some of us aren’t that lucky. Sometimes parental pride ruins a child’s entire future because the parents can never seem to work together for the child. In modern times, the child sacrificed doesn’t burn on an alter, but they burn and their life is destroyed. They lose sight of what’s right and what’s wrong, because they can’t depend on anyone. The voices they listen to, to lead them, becomes whatever is popular at that exact moment. “Popular” and “easy” becomes what is “right”.
Do I have to go into what happens, when that happens? Bad choices that scar a person forever. Yeah. That’s the burn that Isaac would’ve been destroyed by, if Abraham hadn’t been shown a ram just in time to save his son.
As parents in 2013, our ram is humility. It’s doesn’t mean we have to live with the other parent when the relationship was toxic and unhealthy for everyone involved. It means putting down pride, which is a supernatural act of love. It means being able to communicate, focus on what’s best for the child involved, and work together as parents.