Folks, I have news for you. When you became a parent, you signed up for a job that will last the rest of your days.
Not until the youngest one turned 18.
Not until they all left for college.
Not just until the last one got married!
You are a parent as long as there is still breath in your lungs!
Your child will never outgrow the need for your prayers and encouragement. They will never be too old to be comforted, strengthened, and loved on regardless of their current choices.
Think I’m wrong? Just ask anyone who has recently lost a parent…even if they are in their 50’s or 60’s. The fact that they are no longer someone’s daughter or son is heartbreaking to them.
I say this because too often I see parents with the mentality that their job is completed by some magical age. Let me be clear: YOUR JOB IS NEVER DONE. NEVER.
I have a dear friend in her 50’s. She is still torn by the fact her parents never supported or encouraged her as she walked through her husband’s infidelity. She felt abandoned by them. I have several older “children” in their mid twenties who have joined themselves to our family in desperate need of “parenting”…
Prayer…Accountability…Protection…Encouragement…these are things every human needs. Surely at some point a spouse will take over the majority of each of these roles, but the need for a mother and father’s love and influence never wanes.
Don’t think your job is done just because they graduated or got married. Indeed, the toughest part of your job may now be ahead as you pray for and love them through choices tougher than you could have ever imagined.
Photography courtesy of Brian Schindler