If you are joining me here today from my devotion at Proverbs 31 Ministries, Battle in the Night, welcome! As I mentioned in my devotion, so often our mind battles come from things outside of our control and one of the things outside of our control is the decisions our kids make.
This week is week three in my series, Building a Bridge to Your Child’s Heart. If you missed weeks one and two, please take a moment to read these as well!
Week one: Be Aware
Week two: Be Approachable
Today, we’re want to be willing to let them make mistakes.
We want so desperately for our kids to learn from our mistakes. We share with them the wrong choices we made and pray they don’t make the same ones. Our mind spins as we try desperately to figure out ways to direct them and help them to avoid pain and problems.
Stop for a moment, though, and look at your own life?
How did you learn many of the things you know?
How did Jesus become your savior?
I once heard it said that if our kids are to be saved, they need to know they need a savior. If our kids are to be healed, they need to know they need a healer. Not that I am saying our kids have to wander from their faith, but some of our our kids seem to need to learn by making a few mistakes of their own.
This process reminds me of the way of a baby eaglet as they are preparing to leave the nest. The internet gave me insight:
“Once most of their wing and tail feathers are developed, the eaglets can finally leave the nest. First flights usually occur at 9 or 10 weeks of age and are preceded by vigorous exercising and flapping. When a male and female are in the same nest, the male may fledge first. The chick will typically lift off of the nest by facing into the prevailing winds and flapping. Sometimes the adults will force the eaglets to fly. Often the first flight will be to the nearest branch above the nest. When chicks leave the nest they usually glide to a nearby tree or stump, returning to the nest tree frequently and continuing to be fed by the adults. At first the eaglets have difficulty landing on tree limbs. However, if they land on the ground, they need open space to flap their wings to become airborne. While eaglets improve their landing and flying skills, they depend on their parents for food. The adults will bring food to where the eaglets are perched. Eaglets will stay close to the nest and nest tree during the first few weeks after fledging. Within one month after fledging, eaglets will soar and drift over the river.”
How do you respond when your child messes up?
Do you run to his rescue each time or do you give him the opportunity to mature and figure things out? Are you allowing situations and opportunities in her life that will allow her to test drive her wings or are you so protective that the only experience she will have to fly is when she finally leaves home?
Our children need opportunities where they can make their own decisions and either reap the positive benefits or the negative consequences from their decisions.
With having two children already leave home, my husband and I are in a new stage of life in parenting. I’ll be to be very honest: it has been quite a bumpy ride. There have been many, many sleepless nights.
I think one of the hardest things is to take a step back and allow consequences, both good and bad, come from the decisions our children make. As I have stepped back at times and let God become their teacher, I have had to run to Him to hold me back! My words want to wrangle with my children; give them strong advice back to the right path.
When our children are trying to grow up, often they don’t want our words. There comes a time when our only words are prayers. Getting out of the way, we make room for God finish His work. If we don’t fight it and allow this independence to happen naturally, we can prevent the burning that often destroys the bridges in family relationships.
When our children are struggling, we need strength for our struggle too. God’s word brings that strength. We receive strength when we sing songs of praise based on His word and when we read His Word. Today, I’m giving away a copy of Proverbs 31 Ministries new devotional book, Encouragement for Today. These devotions help pull away from the things that pull you down and find lasting encouragement for today.
For a chance to win Encouragement for Today, share in the comments below a song that helps you to redirect your thoughts when your mind is swirling. If you are in a hurry, simply share, “I’m in!” I will announce the winner on my Wednesday Wisdom Tip.