I wanted to tell my child to forget it. That doing the right thing would not matter to this person. To let it go and to cover it with love. I wanted to protect my grown child with all of my heart from the pain of doing the next right thing. Because, I knew it would hurt.
But instead, I watched them agonize over responding with respect to someone that had wrong actions and reactions. It tore me up to not intervene, even when I knew their intentions would be judged and they would be treated with disregard because of their youth.
We have been raising kids for 25 years. That’s not too long in some books, but in ours, it seems like a pretty long time.
Every time one of our kiddos grows up and out of the house, there is another one standing by my bedside in the morning, telling me they are hungry. They just keep showing up. And growing up.
Never will we ever say that we have a handle on this parenting thing. We tell our kiddos over and over that we are learning right along with them. But, sometimes, we need to remind our children that we are the parents and they are the children. And this is one of those foundational principles that can be the hardest to instill when raising children. Submit and/or respect authority.
Because children cannot see the big picture. The wisdom in years or experience can be worth gold. And so, we teach our children to listen, to learn and to respect.
To always go the extra mile and do the right thing.
Then, when your children are almost all grown up, the hardest lesson in life they may ever have to learn, will walk into their lives.
And let me tell you, it is a hard one to watch. Respect… even when the other person is wrong.
Get on your knees and pray. Pray for your children and with your children. And do not stop there.
Talk, talk and talk some more.
Teach your kids what wisdom looks like. And then teach them what foolishness looks like, sounds like and acts like.
Ask them questions. Tell them to listen to the Spirit and to trust the Scriptures above all else.
Even when your voice is shaking and you have to tell your kids that sometimes adults will not be right. You know it will be true, so prepare them with confidence.
This is one of the hardest contradictions in parenting. Teaching respect while keeping them cautious.
Dear kids, we have taught you respect for authority, but sometimes adults will act like children. Listen to wisdom and do the right thing.
Launching our children up and out of the home is never easy. The years and hours you have them under your care is the time to teach them that the world is not perfect. And neither are we.
And when they encounter the difficult, stubborn, proud or foolish adult that has become a double minded man (and they will,) you will continue to pray that God will win the war in their hearts to do what is right.
True tears come when you watch your children treat the foolish with wisdom AND respect.
And that is the reward. Knowing that our children can show honor and respect to a position and not agree or comply with the error in judgement or actions.
We call it peacemaking.
This is the next generation. What are you teaching your children to do with someone or something they don’t agree with?
Dear Children, you do not need to agree to get along. You do not need to be friends with a fool. But, you do need to see everyone as Jesus sees them. His children.
Do not wait to walk your children in wisdom. Begin in Proverbs, and watch your children make hard decisions as they grow.
It is easier to do the right thing, when you KNOW what it is right and what is wrong. Even when it is hard.
There has never been a better time to train this generation to do the right thing than this very moment. Begin today.