“I just don’t know what to do!” Erin sobbed. “Nothing I say seems to get through to her! We raised her in the church, she knows right from wrong, yet she chooses to date guys that most girls wouldn’t even give a second look. The fact that I know she is sleeping with them absolutely breaks my heart! I just worry so for her future!”
Without saying a word, Suzette handed Erin a tissue knowing how deeply she hurt. “What do I do?” Erin sniffled.
Suzette paused to let Erin collect herself.
“Erin,” she gently probed. “Is that why you’ve stopped coming to our small group?”
“I just can’t face anyone. You are the only person I’ve been able to be honest with. I just feel like a failure as a parent and I know everyone who knows my daughter is wagging their tongue about our situation. The difficult part is that I had such hopes and dreams for her…for us!”
“She’s 24. When I was 24, I gave birth to her! I remember the relationship I had with my mom during that time in my life; she was so good about being there as I struggled as a new mom. My relationship with Hannah is so different. I’m not even sure you could call it a relationship. She is bound and determined to do things her way regardless of the consequences.”
Stories like this are not uncommon in today’s culture, even with Christian kids. Somehow as parents we think that if we do everything “right”, this won’t happen to us. But the sad fact is; it does.
But should that really surprise us?
If you’ve spent much time in the Old Testament reading the stories of the kings in the Bible (Kings through Chronicles), you’ll remember the words “they did right in the eyes of the Lord” or “they did evil in the eyes of the Lord”. If you look closely, there is no connection to whether the parent did right or wrong in the Lord’s eyes as to whether or not their offspring would repeat the pattern.
1 Peter 5:8 says…
…your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
As Christian parents, sometimes we set ourselves up with the expectation that “it won’t happen to my kid” if I do everything that scripture says. Reality is that Satan would delight in not only devouring our children but also us as parents!
Most of us want to “fix” our kids. We want the hurt and pain of our expectations on how our kids should live and who they should be to go away. We look side to side at other families and see what we want in our own.
So we do everything in our power to get what we want. We tell them that what they are doing is wrong, we preach, we beg, and we put stress on the relationship because they are putting stress on us. But the bottom line is, we aren’t God. We have no power to change them.
The only person we can change is us…and it starts with our expectations!
As we go through Nina Roesner’s book The Respect Dare together, I challenge you to look not only at your marriage, but also your relationship with your 20-somethings!
Are you trying to change them?
What could you do to change the way you interact with them that could impact the relationship in a positive way?
Here’s my list as we go through The Respect Dare together:
- Allow my 20-somethings to say “no” to my requests without whining.
- Stop preaching about the choices they make that I’m not happy about.
- Work on friendship on a “grown-up” level.
Dare you to grab a copy of The Respect Dare and take this journey with me. I can’t wait to hear what God does with you in your relationship with your husband, your tweens and teens, and your 20-somethings!
“Let go…and let God,”
P.S. Why not join other Respect Dare blogs as we journey through Nina’s book together. Visit Nina at www.ninaroesner.com and Leah Heffner at www.leahheffner.com or visit our website at www.greaterimpact.org.