Thursday, March 29, 2012

Superparent? Not!



Ever think you’ve got it all “under control” when it comes to parenting? I did, once.

I had this great plan about screening the men my daughters wanted to date. The girls agreed to my stipulations; every suitor had to meet with us before the dating began, answering interview questions designed to filter out the unworthy, the unbeliever, the selfish.

I had it all figured out.

That is, until this one very convincing, very charming, and very persuasive fellow showed up and passed my interview process with flying colors. Like Bill Clinton with an election crowd, this guy charmed us all. He had charisma, and an almost magnetic ability to bring people into his orbit. We bought what he was selling, and we paid with a high price. I wish I’d have spotted him sooner.

After the dating began, Raelene and I noticed an alarming trend. This young man gained an almost eerie control over our once independently-thinking daughter. With growing concern, we watched her willingness to do things his way. Along the way, her old personality gradually disappeared. As Shakespeare might say, “Something was definitely rotten in Denmark.”

But our daughter couldn’t see it. Completely convinced that he was her intended life-partner, she resisted our concerns. We became more and more anxious. Soon we knew.  We needed bigger guns.

We asked our friends and family for prayer. Then, we had a critical conversation with our daughter. We asked some tough questions, like “Have we ever wanted anything but the best for you?” and “Have you ever doubted our love?” We followed those questions by expressing our concern; we saw some things in this young man that she apparently did not. We asked her to go 90 days without seeing or speaking with him. If, at the end of 90 days, she still felt like he was “the one,” we would support her choice.

She agreed. For 90 days, we prayed. That was all we could do. 88 days later, she was ready to go back to him. On the morning of the 89th day, she woke up changed. “I see it,” she told me. “I get what you’ve been saying.”

To me, it was a parenting miracle.

All of my careful plans had failed, but the Savior who loves me, who adores my daughter, changed the course of her life. It changed me too. It reminded me of how powerless I am to parent on my own. I need Him. Desperately.

How about you? Has the Lord worked a miracle in your parenting life? Can you share?

3 comments:

  1. My kids are a younger than yours (oldest is 9) so there isn't a whole lot that they can do without our permission... yet!

    One thing that came to mind for me personally was this- I have four kids and my two older boys are from a past relationship, but my husband and I have been together since my 2nd child was about 4 months old. The kids live with us, but would visit their biological dad every other weekend and we were very unhappy with the choice of language, movies, music and overall environment the kids were stepping into when visiting him twice a month. We are a Christian family and have Christian values in our home and the two houses are very opposite of each other...

    Since there was no "harm" being done when my kids were visiting their dad all we could do was pray. We prayed for safety, we prayed that the kids would choose appropriate music and T.V shows when they had the choice and we prayed for their little hearts to be protected. After a while my oldest son would ask his dad not to put certain things on and if he did they would go in another room so they weren't watching and hearing things they knew were wrong. I know it's not a huge thing, but God is powerful and I know He is always watching over my kids & that brings me peace when I can't be there with them :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. So true. Fact is, even when our kids live in ONE home, we can't be with them at every minute. They are going to experience the world, whether in language or in the simple dangers of riding their bike, riding (or driving) in a car, going to a public park etc. What David said is true, "If I make my bed in the deepest part of the ocean, you are there. . ." What a comfort for parents, yes? It forces us to exercise our trust muscles, and that's a good thing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Greg, hope you don't mind I linked this on my fb page. It is so worth sharing and reminding us of the Lord's power. Love to you and Raelene.

    ReplyDelete