“Psalm 103:13-14 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. (The Message)”
One of the toughest things about being a parent is having to let them go, little by little, and staying out of the way when they have a “crisis” to deal with. After all, I survived my teenage years, so I must surely have some pertinent, useful advice to share right?
When my kids are facing a challenge – dealing with rumors, working through relationship issues, etc. – it’s SOOOOO tempting to step in and offer unsolicited advice. The advice I’m tempted to offer may be useful and absolutely right. But that doesn’t mean I should offer it. My compassion for them might mean that I need to keep my mouth shut and let them work through the problem on their own. That provides a chance for them to grow and for me to learn to let go.
But part of maturity is knowing when to seek counsel from others. There may be times that one of my offspring seeks me out mid-crisis to get my input. Now comes the tough part! Since all of my kids are in their teen years or older, they don’t need me to give them step-by-step directions. They need me to help them think through their options. That means offering more options than the one I would choose!
So I pray. Alot! I pray for wisdom when I need it, the ability to keep my mouth shut when it’s needed, and the love to appreciate their God-given design, and support whatever decisions they make to try and deal with situations that arise. But just like my Heavenly Father, I will be there with a supportive shoulder or word of advice when they seek me out!