Mother’s Day is not a joyous occasion for all moms. Many moms suffer heart ache. They long for what could have been or what should be. Their heart’s desire is to have a happy family, to have their children grow and mature into their friend as they become adults.
I don’t know too many mothers that have not suffered heartache at the hand of a child. I know personally how deep that pain is, I’m not sure if there is a deeper pain. It is as if your own flesh is attacking you.
I have endured many years with a rebellious child, actually two of them. At its worst their rebellion sucks every bit of energy and joy from you. They drive you to the most agonizing tears and shake you to the core of everything you believe, even provoking you to want to give up.
I’ve been on the floor crying out asking God, “What did I do wrong?” to shaking my fist in anger at their rebellion asking, “How could they?”
It took me very long time, but I learned the hard way that this battle is actually their battle with the Lord.
There is no perfect parent, just as there is no perfect child. A life in Christ is filled with humility, forgiveness and growth.
I learned that I was guilty of worshiping my children. I poured every bit of my energy, my worth as a mother into my kids, when actually I needed to be faithful to my duty as a mother in Christ, but whatever the outcome was/is GOD IS ENOUGH. I needed to be able to find peace, and the only way I could do that was to draw into right fellowship with God, to remember HE IS MY GOD, that my works are nothing apart from Him.
I still have the duty to parent with all I’ve got, repenting and being parented myself by my Heavenly Father. But my worth is found only in Christ.
Through the rebellion of my children I have learned so much about ME and my sin in the eyes of God. Oh, how great is His love toward us. He is just, but He is also full of mercy and forgiveness.
Let’s us be quick to remember that we all have a sin nature, even the littlest of babes. It needs to be trained and prayed for, for that bending of the knee before Christ, and that only happens in His timing…His circumstances. And before you shake your head at their sin and why they won’t stop that, how often do you fall back into your habits/sins that God must remind you of?
The Older Children
What is even harder, much more painful, is when your adult children choose to walk away. They walk away from you and many times away from God.
There are a few things to remember:
If you need to repent to restore a relationship then you do that. But if they choose to walk away from a relationship with you, you have to let them, many times it is a spiritual battle and your righteous walk brings conviction to them.
Do not bail them out of tight situations. The ways of the transgressor is hard. If they are unrepentant then you need to be hands off. There may be times that you need to show compassion, but don’t be foolish about it. There is a difference between physically enabling them and striving to keep some sort of a relationship with them.
For our family, the door is always open if you want to talk, but we will not help you financially or physically live in sin. Be sure that you know the difference between “sin” and “lifestyle”. Don’t draw a line in the sand over things that are not sin.
The biggest thing is to pray, pray daily. Fast. Enlist others to pray, without gossip or disrespect. Then you wait. You draw close to God finding your peace and joy in Him alone. Ask God to take your blinders off and teach you what YOU need to learn through this trial.
There may be times of supposed repentance. Time will tell if it is real. Either way, you have to forgive, but forgiving is not trusting. Remember, trust and respect are earned.
When you are in the thick of it you need to remember the big picture. This is all a part of your journey, as rough as the road may be. There WILL BE joy in the morning. God WILL give you beauty for your ashes IF you are an empty vessel before him. He is the prefect parent!
Lastly, remember your other children and your husband. When grief is heavy they too are living in it’s shadow. They not only experience the frustrations and heartache, but they also may feel neglected when the rebellious one has taken all of your time, energy and attention.