I get plenty of emails, phone calls and texts from parents of older children who are really struggling. Their children, some of them now adults or quickly approaching adulthood are choosing lifestyles contrary to everything their parents have taught them.
There is truthfully nothing more heartbreaking or distressing as a parent to watch a child, who knows better, walk straight toward trouble. It’s nauseating. Sickening. Scary as hell. Literally.
And the fights that ensue. The yelling. The tears. The stress on the marriage or the stress of handling it all as a single parent. The fear is crippling. It’s just…horrific.
And the advice. The advice parents get when a child is struggling can range from ridiculous blaming to the downright awful and condemning. Very very rarely is someone just willing to shut up and walk WITH a parent through it. Cry with them. Pray with them. Fight in the heavenlies and wear out the carpet on their knees begging God.
But for all of you with older children, I’m going to share a small piece of advice with you that my friend Suzy told me years ago. She said you can either be RIGHT or be in RELATIONSHIP.
Sometimes, it really does come down to just realizing that the fight is not against this child. The fight is FOR this child and if we keep fighting WITH the child we will lose the relationship. And it’s always better to be IN RELATIONSHIP with the child…or rather…young adult than to be RIGHT and rejecting them. Any wrong our children may be struggling with, dabbling in, or even running towards is never worth the cost of our love. It’s never more valuable to be right than in a relationship with our children…er…adults…
They will always be a child in the eyes of their loving parent.
[bctt tweet=”They will always be a child in the eyes of their loving parent.”]
What I realized is that Suzy’s heart is like that of our Creator. He chose being in a relationship with us over being right. To the point that it cost Him His Son.