Sometimes things go wrong. The sweet little child you brought into the world is nearly grown and has made a terrible choice. And you go into a tailspin. You’ve done your best to raise your child and disciple him. From birth, you have taught him about Jesus and to pray. Every child rebels at some time to some degree, and you pray that you are prepared for that. After all, you can remember times of your own rebellion.
Now, at seventeen with his whole life ahead of him, you get the phone call, or you have the conversation you aren’t prepared for. For whatever reason, your child made a terrible choice. What do you do now?
Your emotions will rush from extreme to extreme. You will probably say things you don’t mean. You will want to blame someone. But the damage has been done, and no one can go back in time to undo what has been done.
Perhaps this kind of things has not happened to you or your family. If that is the case, you are blessed indeed. But it likely will to some degree because, even in the Godliest homes, children still make bad choices. The reality is this: Even if you do all within your power to raise your children to know God and serve Him, they will possibly make bad choices. Here are a few suggestions to remember, whether you are in the grip of a situation like this, or whether it might come in the future:
God is Sovereign
God is in control. Plain and simple. Even when feel like the world is caving in on you, our Father holds you in His loving hands. He wants to hold you close and remind you that He will not leave you. Instead, He will be with you through every step of this situation.
This should be obvious, but when you feel that you are under duress, you may omit spending time in prayer. You may not feel like praying. But prayer is vital. Cry out to God in your grief and anger because He is there already, and He knows your needs already. He is ready to provide all you need to see you through this mess. Remember that this is your child’s unwise decision, and she is the one in need of abiding prayer. Of course you are hurt, but your child needs your prayer, love and undeniable love. Pray for your child like never before.
This Is Not About You
Whatever your child has done, and regardless of how bad the circumstances are, he is the one suffering the consequences. He needs you more than ever. You may be angry or hurt, and rightfully so. But he needs to know your unconditional love. Find a way to put aside your emotions enough to show that you love him unconditionally. Don’t make excuses for his bad choices and don’t try to minimize the consequences. Love him through this and endure it with him.
This Is Spiritual Warfare
Regardless of the circumstances or the reasons, remember that is spiritual warfare and you must combat the situation with spiritual weapons. Ask God for wisdom, strength and peace to fight this war and all its associated battles. Keep reminding yourself that because He is in control, He will fight for you. Pray that during this time, your child will recognize this as spiritual warfare and that he is prepared for it.
Seek Counsel of Spiritual Friends
Do not seek the wisdom and advice of worldly people. Instead, seek those you know who are well-grounded in the Bible. Consider several people you know through your church or small group, people you can trust. Talk with your pastor or with a Christian counselor. You don’t have to reveal all the details of this spiritual battle, but you can seek their wisdom and prayers. Your true friends in the faith will hold you up in prayer without discussing your burden with others.
Your Child Needs You
In the same way you need God the Father, your son or daughter needs you. Unconditional love means that you will see him or her through this. You will be there to guide and counsel, and even hurt and cry. Help your child grow and mature through the mistakes that led to this crisis. Show him or her the redemptive love of Christ.
How have you made it through bad choices your child has made? Would you share some thoughts or experiences?