“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 are sinners, perfectly capable of rebelliously going their own way. 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:
- Realize you are not alone. Other parents have similar experiences. Most important, remember that God is with you. (Isaiah 41:10, 13).
- 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).
- You are not obligated to explain your family situation to everyone. If curious people probe, merely ask them to pray. (Proverbs 10:19).
- 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).
- Hold them accountable for their actions. God does. (Proverbs 20:11).
- 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.
- Love them deeply. Be there for them, but don’t always rescue. (Luke 15:11-32).
- 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; 5:3-5)
- Keep going and keep ministering. One of Satan’s tactics to attack our family. (Romans 11:29; Proverbs 24:10).
- Submit yourself to God’s sovereignty, both in your life and in the lives of your children. (Romans 8:28, 29).
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)