If you’re trying to navigate your life mostly with God, and just wee bit on your own… the end result is going to stress you out. No joke, not kidding.
I can speak to this issue intimately as a recovering control addict myself… BUT, If you are a parent reading this… be careful of going any further as it could hurt a bit.
When our “precious” ones are hatched, they need us for everything.. and as they grow into childhood you have to maintain the order and balance of your home. They NEED US, and we must protect and provide and nurture our kids minute by minute. At around thirteen the hormonal tsunami really kicks in and the role as parent shifts gears again. (We aren’t going to try to address that in this blog)
As they mature into teen adulthood, the parenting role shifts dramatically again and we begin to notice their need for our guidance and help starts to rapidly fade. (authors note: This seems to be sometime immediately after they get a driver’s license and or their first part-time job.) We notice at this stage of our lives… that we’ve really begun to lose our “influence” over them to a large degree. They are needing us less and less and its only then (now) that we find out if they really learned anything over those sixteen years. For a control freak that is simply not acceptable.
Now here comes the hard part, we have to let them.
Of course we don’t let them run wild and stay out all night or get into seriously dangerous situations, but within the framework of our beliefs and values, with the kids and families we are in community with…we have to allow them the space to grow and test the truths of God.
The really painful “letting go” begins when they begin to orient their lives outside of the framework of our homes exclusively. It scare us. For some it becomes a huge anxiety. We are control freaks, trained from their moment of birth until this moment that they MUST have us around to survive, I mean they have until now… IF we are not with them for every danger, every moral dilemma… we believe deep down without us they will fail. We are such CONTROL FREAKS! (see picture above for exact emotional image)
As we grow in our understanding of God and His perfect redemptive nature, it should begin to filter down to our foggy brains that we really don’t know whats best anyway. He does. When we say the Lords prayer, it comprehensively address this need for control in a way that impossible to ignore. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done…”
For control freaks that part of the prayer applies only to the 95% of our life that we have already surrendered to God, we don’t even consider the 5% we hold back and maintain strict life control of. For parents, that five percent is almost always our kids.
Look, if your thrashing yourself to sleep each nite in fear about your teenagers, and your unable to come to grips with the rapidly changing role you have in their life… its time to give God that 5% back. He can handle it. He insists that for everyone’s own good, we surrender it all.
It will look and feel different for every home, no rigid guidelines from me… BUT, when you let go, the anxiety will leave. Our kids have to experience free will just as we did, they may surprise you. Mine has.
Have a little faith.
Living out your life of faith as a parent is a powerful thing, your kids are smart… they know if your sincere or just faking. If you have lived a sincere and vulnerable life of faith out in front of them, they are going to respect and admire that no matter what they seem to say or act like.
Paul said, to Timothy his spiritual son in the faith… 2 Timothy one, verses 12-14 “ But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.”
At the end of the discussion…I’m convinced intellectually that this is true. Yet to lay it down every morning… to let go of the wheel is to really believe that we can “trust” our young adults to our heavenly Fathers safe keeping, but for me… it’s a daily thing to do 🙂
Here’s to keeping it between the lines and on the road of life.