Sometimes parenting is hard. This past week parenting has been really hard. Hard because sometimes as parents we have to make our kids miserable. And we have to let them be mad at us. Because letting them continue down a path you know is destructive just to keep the peace does not make you a good parent. Because you know that doing nothing still leads to miserable kids who are mad at you for not stopping them from making a big mistake. Because it is my job to protect him, even from himself. Because once you make a bad decision you can never unmake it you can only learn to accept Christ's forgiveness and live with it.
This week we asked Jake to end the 2 year relationship he has had with his girlfriend. I won't go into detail but I will simply say it has become increasingly clear that this relationship had become very unhealthy for both of them.
It was scary to confront Jake on this issue. But, while we knew we were taking a big risk and could loose him, we also knew that risk was minimal and we know how it will end. Because we know our kid.
Many years ago when my brother was not much older than Jake and busy making his own bad choices my parents sat him down and gave him an ultimatum about his life. They too knew they were risking loosing their son but knew parenting was about making the hard choices. The next day at work my mom was sharing with a co-worker some of what they had said including some scripture they had read to him. Her co-worker was horrified telling her it was the worst thing she could do to bring God into it. My mom responded that he "would have been disappointed if we didn't". They didn't pull out scripture in a desperate attempt to control someone they had lost control of. They pulled out scripture the way that had at every turn, for every problem and every success. They were totally consistent and simply reminded my brother of who he was and who they had raised him to be. God had been working in him before my parents sat down for their little chat and he chose to honor them and turn his life around. Today he is a wonderful godly man, husband, father, brother, friend.
Just like my parents, all the years of parenting our son have led to this moment. A moment in which our relationship is strong enough to endure hardship. We have sat and listened to him, respected him, encouraged him, helped him make hard choices and celebrated the good ones. We prayed with him and for him. And we taught him to pray and seek God. All of it in hopes that we would never have to give him an ultimatum but also preparing a solid foundation of trust and respect should this day ever come.
It will be a journey for the next few weeks, months, years(?). While he hasn't agreed to end the relationship he has agreed to a process we have asked him to be part of. He is not stomping around the house and continues to be part of our family.
And just in case he decided to rebel against us, my mom sent this awesome verse to me:
Proverbs 31: 17 " The eye that mocks a father, that scorns obedience to a
mother will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley will be eaten by the
What else really needs to be said?