I told my husband this past week that getting our children successfully to adulthood is requiring more effort and time than I envisioned. Several of our children are in the young adult age but show evidence of immaturity and poor choices more often than I want to admit.
For instance, I received an e-mail this week stating my stepson was in jeopardy of being expelled from his college because of attendance problems at chapel. He attends a private Christian university that requires he attend an hour long chapel service each week. Sometime last semester, he decided he didn’t want to go anymore and quit attending.
As my husband spoke with him about it over dinner, my stepson admitted to his nonchalant attitude toward the chapel policy and his negligence in attending. With only a year left to graduate, he doesn’t want to be expelled. Thankfully, he committed to doing what the school requires for chapel make-ups and regular attendance in the future.
However, we can’t control whether he actually follows the school requirements or not. As a college student living in his own apartment, he makes his own decisions, good and bad. But we can pray daily that he makes wise choices and seeks the Lord diligently.
In her book, Prayer Changes Teens, Janet McHenry says, “No matter how much we love our kids and want to protect them, we cannot control them or their circumstances. But God is in control, and He can take care of our kids far better than we ever could. … Give control back to God and get back to what you enjoy most – loving your teen.”
As a stepmom who struggles with control issues, that’s a good reminder for me. I like to think I can control my children’s behavior, but that’s grandiose thinking. The sooner I give up control and allow God to be in charge, the greater likelihood of a positive end result.
I’ll give you an update on chapel attendance at the end of the semester. But for now, I need to go talk to God.
What are you trying to control? Do you need to parent from your knees more often?