“He feels the same way about you,” he responded.
“I know – and I don’t know what to do,” I said.
“He is becoming a man,” he replied.
“What? He’s 12,” I said.
“I know, but in his mind, he wants to be a man, he needs respect, and you’re treating him like he’s still seven,” he gently offered.
WOW. How did I miss this? It took about 3 months, but I started applying what I had learned about respecting my husband to my then 12 year old son. Within 3 months, our relationship did a 180.
Now, he’s applying for colleges, and jobs, and I’m sitting here knowing when he leaves, I’m going to seriously miss him. What a miracle God worked in my life.
But hang on a minute – you need to know that this 18 year-old is still working out the details of his testimony. The scripture says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is OLD he will not depart from it.” That’s Proverbs 22:6. The point is that we can “do everything right” and these kids STILL have to find their own way. They still have to work out their own relationship with God. They still are going to make a ton of mistakes, learn lessons the hard way, and make decisions that might cause us to cry. I know this to be true – I see many of my friends with 20-somethings who have walked away from the Lord and/or are making decisions that fly in the face of the way they were raised to follow Him.
And it’s prideful of us to think we can get it right with our kids when God Himself had issues of disobedience with His own…think Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit.
Today’s dare deals with expectations – if you are dealing with the 20-something crowd, I dare you to check out Debbie Hitchcock’s blog on this today. You definitely should subscribe. You can also follow us on Facebook® where there’s tons of additional dialogue, daily tips, and other resources. We have begun a weekly walk through of The Respect Dare. Grab your copy of the book, your coffee and snuggle up with us. Respond to the questions in the book, then come here for additional thoughts and dialogue. Hope you’ll subscribe to the blog and stick it out, remembering that perseverance grows mature faith. If you missed the three broadcasts last week with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine of FamilyLife Today, you might listen to those here – they’re great as a foundation.
Glad you are on the journey with us!
What do YOU think about this? Do you find it hard finding the balance between respecting your kids as young adults, and yet setting boundaries and leveling consequences? I DID. Dare you to share!
Love to you,