Even though my mom was young, in a lot of ways, she was wise beyond her years. She was never too quick to hand out advice; she made me think about it myself and make a decision.
I remember one time I liked two guys and couldn’t decide which one I should stay with. I was torn…like an old sweater. When I asked mom she said that that was a question she couldn’t answer for me. Then I decided that I was going to make a list of each one’s good and bad qualities and pick that way. I forget the exact words she used, but in a nutshell, she said you couldn’t decide who you loved by making a list, that good or bad qualities didn’t have the final say so in who you loved.
Needless to say, I didn’t end up with either of those guys, and I’m so thankful! I’m also thankful that mom didn’t try to tell me which one to pick. I could’ve ended up with the wrong person if my mom had been a busy body.
In my parenting, I’ve had the hardest time keeping quiet! Lots of times I wanted to fix a situation, or manipulate things to get the result I wanted. Not in an evil soap opera way, my intentions were good; I just wanted everything to work out, and be good for our son. What I did though, was take away his confidence in decision making. I should’ve allowed him to think about things more, and to make his own decisions, even if I didn’t completely agree, so that he would have good coping and decision making skills. We missed out on a lot of teachable moments because I wanted to run the show.
Just like our Heavenly Father won’t force us to do anything, He simply guides; there are times we should be that way with our children. God provides the tools we need for everyday living, and is always there to comfort and restore when we do make mistakes. Shouldn’t our parenting be likewise?
I’m not saying that you should knowingly allow your children physical harm, but help them to think about decisions they’re faced with instead of making them for them. Although, if you repeated tell a child not to touch something because its hot and they keep trying; maybe a little taste of how that feels wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
When your children get older, it would take a huge weight off their shoulders to have good decision making skills, and to know that when they do mess up, you’ll be there to help them pick up the pieces.
I’m thankful that my mom did that for me, I just wish that, as a parent, I’d been better at being quiet! I didn’t quite get the hang of that; and still I struggle!
I’m thankful too that our God is so sweet and willing to forgive, when His children make mistakes. I’m thankful that when we start to veer off the path, He gently nudges us in the right direction. He always has the best parenting skills, and is a great example for us to follow!
And now, the Master, God, sends me and his Spirit with this Message from God, your Redeemer, The Holy of Israel: “I am God, your God,
who teaches you how to live right and well. I show you what to do, where to go. If you had listened all along to what I told you, your life would have flowed full like a river, blessings rolling in like waves from the sea. Isaiah 48:17-18