This week I was browsing the comments on a friend’s Facebook page. Her son has just suffered a spinal injury and is now at the beginning of a long road to recovery. A wise occupational therapist advised her to keep in mind that even though she and her son are going to have lots of intersecting points on their journeys through this hard time, they are, in fact, each on their own journey. And, each journey leads us to stand before God.
At first glance that might look like a bunch of psychobabble to some. But, the more I’ve thought it over, the more I’ve come to decide that there is deep truth in what this man wrote. In fact, the truths that he alludes to are much deeper than an occupational therapist’s advice to a patient. What he said is startlingly true for parents and children of all ages, stages, and circumstances. And, Christian parents especially need to consider this man’s advice.
It’s easy for us to impose our own feelings and wants and needs onto our children. We get frustrated when our kids don’t desire the same outcomes that we do. But, in the end we see them as little extensions of ourselves, and because of that we tend to gloss over their sin problems and assume that God is working to sanctify them.
But, what if He isn’t?
What if we need to be on our knees, begging God to save their souls? What if we considered the fact that they are on a completely different journey, and that God may deal with them in a completely different way?
Too often Christian parents assume that our kids are going to be okay. We spend more time praying that they stay healthy than we do praying that He will bust their hearts wide open and set up residence there. We have to begin thinking of our kids as more than extensions of ourselves. They aren’t guaranteed to come to Christ just because we did. They aren’t necessarily going to be rebellious just because we were or goody-goodies because we were. We must deal with our children as individuals, and we must remember that God has His own plans and ways of speaking to our children.