Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs I have ever had; it is also the most rewarding job I have ever had. We are blessed to have 3 sons and the youngest is now 16. I have discovered that being a parent of adult children is just as hard as being a parent to young children. When your children are young, you can get very tired physically; however, when they are grown you can get very tired emotionally and spiritually.
Today's blog is for all those parents of adult or soon-to-be adult children. I want to speak encouragement to you! As parents of adult children, I feel we have 2 main jobs to do; pray and love. We pray protection over and for our sons. We pray for wisdom and God's mercy. We pray, pray, and pray some more. In addition to praying, we choose to love them with God's help. Now does this mean we do everything they want us to do? No, not at all. However, we seek to love our boys with the 1 Corinthians type of love that is God's love.
My heart goes out to all the parents that feel like they have made a mess parenting their now grown children and are tempted to be discouraged and depressed. If you are a parent that feels that way; stop looking back, repent to God for your failures in parenting, and look up! Satan would love you to focus on your mistakes so you will be too busy to pray for your children! There is hope and redemption for us and our kids, but FIRST we must turn them over to God. I will be the first to admit I made many mistakes in my role of being a Mom. I tried to overprotect, control, and even manipulate. I thought I was doing what was best for our boys but realized later I was only causing them to depend on me instead of God. The basis of my parenting was fear: fear of them getting hurt, fear of them making mistakes, fear of losing them. Oh, how I wish the basis of my parenting had been God's love all these years. Nonetheless, I have since repented from depending on myself and my strength and have turned it over to the Lord. Do I still make mistakes? Of course, I do! However, I now completely recognize my TOTAL dependence on God and his Holy Spirit to parent through me. I daily put my boys in God's hands and I try to get out of God's way. What I mean by that is this; I cease trying to work everything out in their lives and instead pray for them. When I am tempted to try to manipulate and control I stop and take a time out with God. I remind myself that they need God's Holy Spirit working on them not a controlling carnal Mom! Sometimes I have to release them to God 15 times a day. However, the key is to KEEP RELEASING them back to God.
One more thing, when we feel hurt or disappointed in our children, remember that our Heavenly Father knows how we feel. He understands the pain of seeing someone we love so much hurting themselves. He knows this not only because He is God, but because we have disappointed and hurt Him too. If you have been wrestling with guilt, fear and hopelessness as a parent, I want to encourage you to stop wrestling and RELEASE it all to God. Let Him know how much you need Him and trust Him to work in your children's lives no matter what things look like. Keep focused on HIM.
Here are some scriptures to remember:
Psalm 43: NLT
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again...my Savior and my God!
Romans 8:1 NLT
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 5:8 NLT
But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it
PLEASE FEEL FREE to share with me your favorite scripture of encouragement as well!
You may also find encouragement at this website, including a place to sign up for a weekly encouraging email:http://www.parentsofprodigals.com/