Have you ever felt guilty when you had to say “No” to your adult child.? Or maybe you’re exhausted from worrying about and/or rescuing them from their problems. I was at that point and something had to be done before they packed me off to an institution.
I had to stop and evaluate what was really happening. Then and only then did I back off and allow my children to grow.
One inevitable thing about being human is that we all suffer. But the good news is through suffering, we mature. However, I couldn’t stand to see my children suffer. Now this is where my dilemma occurred. I wasn’t stopping to realize that for them to mature, they’ll have to do some suffering of their own. So, at the sound of a whimper, I was off to the rescue because not only couldn’t I stand to see them suffer, they certainly couldn’t stand it!
I’m not thinking that I’ll never help my children again but unless it’s an emergency, and I mean an actual life or death situation, I had better take some time for prayer and consideration of the problem before I jump in there. Now notice I said “prayer and consideration” not putting myself on a guilt trip. Otherwise, I may not be helping at all, but rather making the situation worse.
I realized that my Heavenly Father may be doing a work in their lives and using a bad situation to do it. By jumping in to help, I may be jumping in front of Him. As a result, I was doing an injustice to my Father, my children and myself.. Something I was sure I didn’t want.
I have four grown children with families of their own. I’ve been through the guilt trips, the exhaustion, the worrying and the rescues. I was feeling like a total failure all the time and I began to wake up over a period of time and realize that this was all MADNESS! Sometimes things seemed so insurmountable that I actually thought God was punishing me through their problems. Then I realized I was punishing myself. When they would suffer, my mind’s eye would see them as little helpless children. I’d tell myself things like ”They’re not strong enough to handle this so I need to help.” I was simply not remembering that I alone was not able to handle my own problems either, but by the grace of the Almighty. I have survived and so will they.
God has always been there for me and my children aren’t just extensions of me but individual human beings just as loved by our Father.
Over time, I began to get a little backbone as I meditated on how God works with each one of us. In the book of Hebrews in Chapter 12:1-13, life problems and discipline are dealt with. It talks about how discipline is never pleasant at the time but “afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby ”KJV. And then in verses 12 and 13 it says something else interesting. It says ”Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down and the feeble knees.” In other words get some backbone and “make straight paths for your feet, Lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” Are we making our children stumble by not leading them to such scriptures and then letting our Father deal with them like He deals with us?
We’ve learned a lot in our own lives and we’ve survived. So to all you other Mom’s out there; God loves you for loving and wanting to help others but don’t forget that we need to calm down and think first. Ask Him for guidance because “His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.” (Isaiah 55: 8,9).KJV.
We can handle discipline from our Father and so can our children.
Read more articles by Patricia Deppe or search for articles on the same topic or others.