He’s a good kid.
We raised him to know the Lord.
How could he make this choice? How could she do this thing?
Confusing isn’t it? We think we have protected our kids from evil, wrong thinking, and immoral behavior because we raised them with faith and family values.
Doesn’t it seem like a guaranteed good and godly outcome is to be expected? I did my part, now God you do yours.
Why do good kids engage in, “sex, drugs, and rock and roll?”
Maybe that is the wrong question.
Do I think my tween, teen, or young adult should have a better outcome than the first two people who walked and talked with our Heavenly Father in the Garden of Eden?
Life is filled with the unexpected. The only expected things are taxes, death, and… I am going to add, sin.
Sin is to be expected. A sure thing.
Maybe the question is, “How do I respond when my child engages in sex, drugs, and rock and roll?”
It is hard and hurtful when we train up our children in the way they should go…and they go the other way. Many faithful Christ-follower parents have shared their heartache with me. And I’ve had my portion of painful parenting times. We share the feeling of deep loss and experience painful surprise. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought my child would…” is a line we all speak.
What do we do?
We trust God with our kid. Maybe this prodigal path is one that will eventually lead the child to the Lord. Could it be that we may also develop some positive character traits like understanding and empathy?
We follow the example from the Garden.
- We maintain a relationship with our kids.
- We continue to warn our kids regarding what to avoid.
- We talk with our kids by asking questions when they partake in the forbidden fruit. We ask rather than accuse.
- We enforce appropriate consequences.
- We protect our kids after the issue has been disclosed. (This looks different according to circumstances and people.) God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden for their own protection.
- We still sacrifice for them. (Of course what that sacrifice looks like is determined by God’s leading.) The first sacrifice clothed Adam and Eve.
- We continue to be a part of their lives. (God knew Adam and Eve’s kids.)
- We are just and merciful. We show grace and speak truth.
- We do all this with humility. Because we remember, our parents most likely felt like this about us at one time.
In the midst of the unexpected: Keep talking. Keep protecting. Keep praying. Keep loving.
Sin is in our blood. But…forgiveness is in His!
Follow the way of love.
1 Corinthians 14:1a
Lori Wildenberg is passionate about helping families build connections that last a life time. She is a licensed parent-family educator and co-founder of the 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting ministry. She has written four parenting books with Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home (New Hope Publishers) being her newest. Lori is a parent consultant, national speaker, and lead Mentor Mom over at the Moms Together Facebook Community Page. Every Monday you can find her blogging about faith and family at loriwildenberg.blogspot.com . Mostly, Lori is wife to Tom and mom of four. The Wildenbergs home is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. A perfect day in Lori’s world is a hike with her hubby, four kids plus a daughter-in-love, and Murphy the family labradoodle.
Messy Journey is for parents walking the difficult road with a wayward child. Be inspired to drink the deep waters of peace as you draw closer to the Father of all prodigals. Author and licensed parent and family educator Lori Wildenberg offers practical grace- and truth-filled ways of navigating your relationship with a detoured child whether they are rejecting faith, dabbling in sin, or wholeheartedly embracing sinful behavior. There is hope. After all, their struggle isn’t really with you, it’s with God.
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