Parenting is really, really hard. I raised two to adulthood and am working on the third. Again, parenting is hard! Not because kids are difficult. It’s hard because they are precious. When tiny, fragile newborns that have our DNA are handed to us, parents get this overwhelming, innate passion to guard and protect them and it never goes away! Ever! It just has to change – the look of it, the walking it out, the participation in it.
When our kids are elementary school age, we are constantly giving instruction, reminding them over and over again about simple, every day things and setting boundaries for them. “Tie your shoes” “Please don’t interrupt” “That is dangerous” “Time for bed” “That is not appropriate to watch” and, if you have a boy, “Please don’t miss! I just cleaned that bathroom!”
As our children become teenagers, they slowly start spreading their wings. They learn about relationships, friendships and how important boundaries are. It’s sad, but they also learn that life holds challenges and disappointments and that not everyone is loving and kind. You hold them and love them and cry with them and speak into their broken hearts.
When our children become young adults, the boundaries have long been established and now they will make their own decisions. They will literally personally experience the repercussions of their own decisions. Each decision they make will have a consequence. Some decisions will bring positive consequences; others will bring pain. But, I’m a fan of pain to some extent. Pain teaches us.
Can you remember a time when life seemed fine in your little “classroom” but then Mrs. Pain walked in one day and became your substitute teacher? I can! Sometimes it was a result of me crossing over a boundary – ignoring instruction or authority. Ouch! Sometimes, it was a surprise curveball that life threw at me and I didn’t deserve it or see it coming. Still, I had to sit in the classroom and learn the lesson.
Those painful lessons, regardless of how they come to our young adult children, are valuable. They shape them, they make them accountable, they cause them to dig deep and they push them toward finding answers. Cover your young adult children in prayer, ask the Holy Spirit to guide them and to speak to their hearts. Rejoice with them, support them when life is unkind and don’t be afraid to see pain at work in their lives. God’s got them and He’s got you, too!!
~ Kristine Morgan
The Pastor’s Wife