Tears from her.
Pouting lips from both of us.
Clenched stomach and taut nerves on both sides.
I so want to reflect Christ in my dealings with my children but often I reflect nothing but anger, fear and stress. As my children become young men and women I find that I get worse. It was so easy when they were little.
I would tell them to go here and they went. I would say pick this up and they did it.
Now, they have minds and wills of their own. They have their own opinions. They have their own likes, dislikes, and aren't afraid to express them! :-)
I have to be honest and say I really do have good kids. They aren't rebellious. They generally do what they are asked to do. They make good choices.
But I get concerned. When I get concerned, my gut reaction is to control.
Trying to control someone almost always leads to the other person pulling against the reins. I know this from experience and yet, I keep falling back into that trap.
Raising teens is difficult. The more I try to control them, the relationship I have will be broken. I need to remember that it's through relationship that I can influence.What makes me think that pulling my kids where I want them to go will make their hearts follow?
Does God do that to us? Does He control and demand? If He did do that, would that make me want to follow?
We hugged. We talked. We restored our relationship.
I feel like I'm a mess most days in this minefield of parenthood. But God forgives. I move on. I learn. I keep trying.
I need to let up on those reins and guide my children without yanking them where I want them to go. In fact, I think a better bet is to let God take those reins.