6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
A friend of mine sent me this scripture as I was beating myself with questions I am sure so many adult parents do as they watch their little birds totter out into the traffic of the adult world. We want to leap after them to shield them as has always been our job and we forget it no longer is (or at least I do). Questions plagued me like “what did I do wrong?”, “when did I become the enemy?”, “they were taught better than that, I thought, did I not do as good a job as I thought I did?”. Questions that I speculate in a two parent household mom and dad bounce off of each other and reassure each other that all those questions are normal. Questions doubled by being left alone to finish the raising that Fred and I discussed so many many nights during our marriage and before he died. Now doing the baby bird releasing on my own I do not have that reassurance when those negative thoughts come knocking.
Or so I thought. As I was sitting at my desk today my phone went off with a reminder for a devotional I started over the summer and hadn’t been back to since – “Prayers of Blessing Over My Adult Children”. No rhyme or reason why, just heaven sent. When I clicked it it took me right into a reading about how when a person reaches adulthood their choices become their own responsibility. Today’s society pressures us parents to take responsibility for every bad choice our adult children make and gladly give over credit for every amazing thing our adult child does. This is false. I think the most profound thing I got from the reading was this: “Does God hold parents accountable for the sins of their children?” When I am standing before Him will my children’s sins be on my list of things to account for? NOPE. I had to read that more than once and it’s still bouncing around in my brain like a ping pong ball refusing to settle.
How can that be? How can I have raised this tiny human into a big human and not be flogged for every single mistake, wrong turn, bad choice they make? Society says I should be. Goodness knows I was judged for what they wore to school, the curse word they said to the teacher, or what I fed them for lunch. Go jump in the lake society. God says I’ve done my best and it’s up to them now. I am only accountable for myself and my choices. I know that this is easier said than done. We all live with the judgement of others and those of us that are super sensitive to it are in hell most of the time. But with prayer and petition I can be set free from those judgements as well as from the blame for things going wrong that my children want to put off on me.
Back to the scripture. Even if you’ve done the work, and regardless of what you did right or wrong according to the latest parenting trend, your children may stray from their values for a while. Maybe a long while. Maybe by their own choice and maybe by temptation. But if you have done your job God says they will return to what you taught them. I don’t know about you but I find that immensely comforting. Especially without my sweet husband here to reassure me that we, in fact, raised amazing humans. 🙂