Laundry? Do they know how to separate the whites? What happens if they oversleep? Will they have enough to eat? Where will they go if they get sick? The questions are endless….
How do you explain the feeling as kids spread their wings? It’s exhilarating, but also enough to make a grown adult go into a full blown panic attack! (I look around and think…What have I been doing these last two decades?)
We have done our part to teach our kids what we can. But there is SO much more to learn. And it’s time. It’s time to let them face this world outside of the confines of their homes. It’s time to let them go. Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go; then, when he is old, he will not part from it.” God doesn’t want us to keep them home forever. He wants them to go and be part of His mission. That is what we, as parents, are supposed to do…prepare them to go and then let them go. Just like God lets us go to make our own choices.
But, there are more questions. Will they overdraw their account? What happens if they get lost? Do they know not to put a wet towel on their bed? Do they have a plan? Do they know their true identity?
Yes, do they know their true identity?
We are all children of the one true God. It doesn’t matter what others say or how we compare ourselves to others because the only voice that matters is God’s. God says, “I have summoned you by name. You are mine.” He also says that we are precious, loved with an everlasting love, chosen to be holy and blameless; His handiwork, His special possession. The world identifies people differently than God does, defines success differently than God does, but identity and success will come from putting gifts and talents to work for God, not for men.
Here’s some good news for all the concerns! God is wise. God is love, and God has a great plan for all of us. God gave our kids to us and God matched our families perfectly together. So, as the Godly matched parents of our kids, our 18 years of prayer, love, and teaching will pay off. This is the beginning of a new phase of God’s plan. God knows what is best and He is in charge. He will protect our children because He loves our children more than even we do.
And guess what? Parenting doesn’t really ever end. Even though kids get older, they still need parents. And just like how our Heavenly Father never stops parenting us, we will never stop parenting our kids. There is no real finish line because parenting is not a sprint or even a marathon—it’s a journey. Parenting is even more important as they navigate into adulthood so that our children are reassured of their identity in Christ. Even though the dynamics change—less authoritarian and more relational, less commander and more friend—we still get to parent while we let them go.
God had to let us go so we could make our own decisions to glorify Him. We have to let our kids go so they can make their own decisions to glorify God (while we teach them to separate the whites, use their phone as a map, and keep a budget…).