This is no more rewarding role, and no more costly one, than parenting.  The very nature of parenting is to prepare children to leave and form their own lives with the Lord. Hannah perceived  this with her son, Samuel, as she dedicated him to God “27 I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” (I Samuel 1:27-28). She had a son who wholeheartedly followed God to the delight of his parents. But, another set of parents also dedicated their son to the Lord (Judges 13).  Their sincere commitment resulted in a son, Samson, who, while used by God to fight Israel’s enemies, had severe breaches of wisdom in his life choices. His parents eventually recognized that they could not control the direction of his life, and had to give him over to God’s care. Happily,  at the end of his life, after some tragic choices, Samson turns his heart to God.
There are failures and misses by parents.  There are also cherished moments and memories.  But, there is always the challenge to give the child over to the Lord and believe Him to do what you cannot.  Some of my readers are seeing your child go to school for the first time this fall.  Others sense that adolescent years are resulting in distance, and a confiding in friends over parent. For some of you, a college dorm will be the new digs for your freshman this fall.  There may be young adults (and older adults, but they are still your kids) whose choices weigh on you, and seem the fast track to danger.
Abraham is the model of faith and trusting God (Romans 4).  But, his immediate family provided him plenty of angst.  In Genesis 21 his son, Ishmael,  is turned out with his mother Hagar to the wilderness.  In Genesis 22, his only other child, Issac, is seemingly to be sacrificed on a mountain top altar, in the wilderness.  In both cases, God sends angels to intervene at the critical moment and save the child.
In Marilynne Robinson’s  Pulitzer prize winning novel, Gilead, protagonist John Ames preaches a sermon on Abraham and the paternal pain he felt with both his sons.  “Every parent”, she suggests, “must finally give his child up to the wilderness and trust to the providence of God.  Great faith is required to give the child up, trusting God to honor the parents’ love for him by assuming that there will indeed be angels in that wilderness”.
Giving your child up to the wilderness is scary.  It doesn’t matter if it is to first steps at school, or into a world of peers, or a college dorm, or a  decades long pursuit of a lifestyle you don’t know or relate to.  But, wherever your child is, God has angels there.