A Parent’s Heart
Are you one of the parents who feels that you have failed in some aspect of raising your child? Are you a parent that struggles with feelings of defeat, depression and helplessness because you find your child engaged in acts of immorality, criminal activities or emotional stresses? Have you tried to talk to them only to experience their anger and resentment? Do you feel you lost your influence over your teenager or young adult? Does it seem like everyone else’s voice matters to your child but yours?
Your Voice Still Matters
Be assured that your voice still matters even when they say it does not. You are most likely torn to pieces watching them walk down destructive roads. You know the end result. You are aware of the pits that are waiting for your baby and the pain that follows. You hurt when they hurt. Yet, every attempt you make to share your concerns is met with resistance. You feel like your words are only pushing them further into the pit. Your silence almost feels like you are doing nothing to stop them. You must, first of all, stand assured that God has you as their parent for a reason.
Finding Their Own Way
Know that your child (or young adult) is trying to find their own way. To them, your words of concern sound like an aggressive attempt to control them and keep them from exploring their options. You sound old and out of date with the current trends. What you are saying may make great sense to you, but they do not hear it the way you are saying it. They have often mingled with people that hold loose standards and embrace current trends. They do not understand the “thou shalt nots” that you are trying to embed in their lives. There is often a communication breakdown and a gap in the bridge that keeps the two sides together. They want your love. They want your support and acceptance, but they do not always welcome your instruction.
You watch your child become promiscuous, get involved with drugs, enter a same sex-relationship or cling to an abusive partner. You saw it coming way before it happened. You may feel partly responsible because of the life you once lived in front of them. You may be holding on to guilt and shame of how you lived. They watched you endure abuse or sexually entertain a different person every week. Could your child just be mirroring you? Can they use that as an excuse? Absolutely not.
Let Go of Your Past — You are Forgiven
Do not allow your past to dictate your future. Do not allow your guilt to keep you from being the loving parent that your child needs to get them through. Yes, you may be met with their quick lashings about what they witnessed in your life, but do not be afraid to own up to it and let them know that you stand forgiven in Christ. Do not make excuses for it. The past happened, but it is over. God reaches into the worst places to save the worst of us.
The Powerful Tool of Prayer
Even if you have not lived that life and your child still is on a treacherous path, do not get discouraged. God gave you one of the most powerful tools that directly connects to his throne of grace. You can pray. Prayer can reach into places our words will not penetrate. Prayer activates God to move on your behalf and theirs. Prayer tells God that you know He is in charge and He can do what no one on Earth can do. He makes the hard heart soft. He speaks to the person on their level. He knows the right moment and the right time to touch that wayward child and bring them home. Do not get frustrated because you do not see instant results. Most of us did not instantly turn our hearts to God so do not expect that with your child. Let God do what God does.
When you feel hopeless, release those feelings to God. When you feel like your child may not make it, tell your Heavenly Father. He cares. He knows what is best. Prayer is a very powerful weapon the enemy hates. Prayer humbles us in the sight of God and places absolute dependence on His power and ability. It is the alarm that sounds in the ears of God that we are waiting on Him to change those that may seem unchangeable. It is the voice that goes into God’s ears to alert God that you are releasing it into His capable hands to shift the atmosphere for a better result.
The Parent’s Heart
Your words to your child may not seem produce results, but your words to your loving Heavenly Father will shake Heaven and cause God to respond. The parent’s heart is always in the best interest of their child. What better parent do we have than God our Father who has our best interest in His heart?
Janet Boynes founded Janet Boynes Ministries in Maple Grove, Minnesota, in 2006. She authored the books Called Out: A Former Lesbian’s Discovery of Freedom, God & Sexuality, and her latest: God & The LGBT Community. Janet is an ordained minister under the Assemblies of God and travels the U.S. and overseas sharing a message of redemption and hope through the power of Jesus Christ.