Today as I read this it brought back so many feelings and emotion. I have 2 adult sons. My son’s are 30 and 28, both married to beautiful young woman; my youngest son has a son also, my first, most ever handsome, heart dropping, 19 month-old grandson. I also have an almost 15 year-old, unbelievably, beautiful daughter. So I can say I have had a few too many knock down drag-outs; heart wrenching; cry yourself to sleep nights; and oh so many questions in career as a mom.
So many times I would ask myself, as a Christian mom, what did I not do right? How could I have taught them differently? What about this or that? How this or that? Why? How come? Where did I fall so short? And so on and on…..
I beat myself up so many times, I wish I had the bruise and scars to prove I was hurting. I would talk with my husband, he felt much the same. But I felt like I had no place to turn for help. I prayed and sought the Lord for direction, comfort and help. I found the Lord Jesus there so many times. His healing touch was so real and clear so often. BUT, I still hurt, and felt like a failure as a mom.
To so many of you moms (and dads) reading this, this devotions has some good advice and I am here to tell you take it, receive it, believe it and put these helps into practice in your life now.
People in our church did encourage me in a few of these areas and it did help. It took a long time before I really got over a lot of the guilt ad questions. I still felt like an outsider looking in. I felt helpless. I could not help my children when I wanted to rescue them. I knew they too would have to come around as the prodigal son had to. The Lord gave me Scripture and promises. I have hurt for all of my children for a vast amount of reasons through the years.
Maybe one day I will share some of the difficult situations and issues, but until then, I pray for so many of you tha I know and ones I do not. Parenting is not easy. As many of have been told along time ago, “Children do not come with manuals, it’s all trial and error.” But, I am here to say it doesn’t have to be completely that way. First of all, we do have a manual, The Word of God, The Bible. Second, parents, if you have done all you know to do by prayer, Scripture and godly advice and direction, the blame lies not at your door. Third, learn to trust the Lord in a way you never have before. Fourth, don’t shut people out, let people in, in whom you have a godly confidence. Fifth, if yu see or know of ones in this situation, pray for them, see what the Lord might have you do…maybe just to continue to pray. The Lord may also put it on your heart to come along-side this one and help. How can you help? The greatest thing you cn do is listen, don’t offer advice, unless asked and be very sure it is scripture based and from the Lord. I say Scripture based, because it is Scripture that encourages one another. We, parents already know much of the damage done, encourage in the Lord, not with more head-knowledge. Then listen some more and offer to pray with them. Our battles are won on our knees for our children and for ourselves concerning them. There is also a time we need to let our children go so that the Lord is able to deal with them…we need to get out of His way. This is another hurtful but necessary piece of parenthood. In letting go we need to forgive them and forgive ourselves. forgiveness is a great healer. Forgiveness is pride and it keeps us in bondage as well as our children are bound by our forgiveness.
(How often we feel this way as this song states…but it is all because of Who Jesus is.)
July 31: Parents In Pain
“Where did we go wrong?” Isn’t that the question you are asking yourself if you have offspring who are giving you fits? Kids grow up, make their own decisions, some of which are disastrous. Like us they sinners (and saved, they can choose to sin), (Romans 5:12 12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:8-9 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.) perfectly capable of rebelliously going their own way. (It does give peace when your child does know Christ as their Savior, but it still hurts.) In a society where everyone is blaming someone else and refusing to take responsibility for their own actions, don’t fall prey to unfounded accusations.
If you are struggling with a difficult situation with your teen or young adult here are a few words of encouragement and advice:
*I added the Scriptures to these points, the references were there, but for convince,I inserted them for you. (Pinchofgrace)
- Realize you are not alone. Other parents have similar experiences. Most important, remember that God is with you. (Isaiah 41:10, 13 – 10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I amthy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.)
- Find a few trusted friends to share your concerns and pain. Don’t hide them, or put on an everything is okay front. (Proverbs 17:17– A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.)
- You are not obligated to explain your family situation to everyone. If curious people probe, merely ask them to pray. (Proverbs 10:19 – In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.).
- If you know you have sinned against one or your children or treated them badly, confess it to them and to God, asking their forgiveness. (Proverbs 28:13 – He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.).
- Hold them accountable for their actions. God does. (Proverbs 20:11 – Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.).
- Refuse to feel guilty or ashamed. Don’t let your children lay guilt upon you when you know you served God and them with integrity. (2 Timothy 1:12 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Isaiah 50:7 7 For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. Romans 15:13 13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. -Scriptures added by Pinchofgrace)
- Love them deeply. Be there for them, but don’t always rescue. (Luke 15:11-32 – (I did not add this Scripture reference because of its length you should know the story, if not please take the time to get a Bible and read this passage it will be worth it to you.).
- Wait and pray. God is a God of patience and hope. Wait for them to respond. In most cases there will be reconciliation. (Romans 12:12; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Romans 5:3-5 – 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.)
- Keep going and keep ministering. One of Satan’s tactics to attack our family. (Romans 11:29 – For the gifts and calling of God arewithout repentance.; Proverbs 24:10 – If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.).
- Submit yourself to God’s sovereignty, both in your life and in the lives of your children. (Romans 8:28, 29 – 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to beconformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.).
Keep in mind that God’s children, too, rebelled: “The Lord has spoken: ‘I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against Me‘” (Isaiah 1:2 – Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.)
From the Devotional—Facts of the Matter
I trust these have been encouraging words to you and will help many of you.
I want to leave you with this…
I had a prodigal son. He left home at 16, he just hugged me and said ‘good-bye’, I did not know he was leaving, I thought he was just going out for the evening. I felt as if a part of me died that night. The story doesn’t end there…It took 16 years for him to tell me, “Mom, my life’s choices were not your fault. I chose what I chose. I did what I wanted to do. I blamed you because it was easier than facing the things I did as my fault. You were the best mom I could have ever had and you still are th best.” This was just a short time ago. That day I was set free like never before. I feel I also had the Lord tell me that same night, “I have told you this all along, yet you chose to believe a lie.” I do not want to believe lies of the enemy, he has robbed me for too, too long. Please don’t allow him to rob you any longer. That son is not where I would like to see him in his relationship with the Lord….BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL!!!! He has brough u thus far and He will continue to do more. I know, believe…My God has promised. The story and journey continue for the both of us.
Lord bless you until next time.
(Amen! Teach me this in its fullness Lord.)