My children are grown. They are becoming more and more independent each day and yet, they are still very dependent on me and my husband. It’s amusing in a way because I can see how reluctant they are to really become the independent adults they are expected to become. It’s much more comfortable and assuring to stay under their parents’ wings. Comfort and safety, however, will not allow them to blossom. Instead it will hold them back, keeping them from experiencing everything that God has in store for them.
As a parent, I believe that was one of the hardest paragraphs I have ever written and yet, the words just seemed to flow from my fingertips as if I were a maestro playing a concerto. Every word is true but it doesn’t make the experience any easier. Not for me, at least. I see how I can help each child (adult) and make things a little easier for them, but I don’t see how not helping them will actually be the most help. At least I don’t see it with my whole heart. I know it’s because I have that motherly instinct that just wants to protect her babies, but there is a line that we cannot cross if we want our kids to really become successful adults. That line is sometimes blurred. I can see it in how other mothers are with their kids and I really don’t want to be that way. Unfortunately, I think I am sometimes without even realizing it.
My daughter is learning how to live on her own. She’s paying her bills and even caring for two dogs. She has goals set for her future and is working to achieve them, however, she gets sidetracked very easily when she starts hanging around with her friends. It seems that their first priorities are to go out and have a good time and work is just a necessary evil to pay for that good time. That is not how we raised our kids. We raised them to find something they love to do and to find a way to earn a living doing it. We fully believe in enjoying life to the fullest, but it should be done in an honorable and productive way.
While she is on her own, she is still working for her father, who can be a hard taskmaster but not completely overbearing. He just expects good work ethics and diligence which is hard to find these days. The last thing he wants to see is his own daughter displaying the lazy work ethics that he’s seen in other employees, but we have seen just that popping up recently because she has lost focus on her main goals. He spoke to her about this the other day and helped her to refocus on the goals she had originally made. She didn’t even realize that she had backslidden but the very next day, she showed us that she was thankful for the gentle reminder. So far, she is back on track to fulfilling the short-term goal she had set this year to advance to her more long-term goals.
We are all the same way if we allow it. We will lose focus on what our goals are and refocus on the short-term, pleasure seeking priorities that will only hinder our progress in our walk with God. And we don’t even realize it. When we start looking at what’s happening in the world with the criminals and the politicians (I know a few harsh jokes could be made of that last phrase, but I will not give in to the temptation), we take our focus off of God and His plan. Our main priority is to completely trust God and let Him take care of the situations in the world. Our job is to obey Him and do what we can to help others, not point fingers. When we lose our focus on Him, thought, He tends to give us gentle reminders to help us refocus and get back on track. Instead of being resentful, it will do us well to recognize His love for us within that reminder and respond to Him in the way the He desires. Not only will it bring us peace, but it will allow us to grow into the adult Christians He needs us to be to fulfill His goals for us and His Kingdom.