“But his sons did not walk in his ways.” 1Sa 8:3 NIV
At times every parent despairs over their child’s decisions and actions. “I did my best to raise them right; did I fail as a parent?” Failure is a fact of life—and of parenting—and nobody does it perfectly! Parents assume a heavier load of guilt than they deserve. Consider some Bible examples of real-world parenting: Isaac had, at best, a 50 percent success rate with his sons, Jacob and Esau. Aaron struck out completely with Nadab and Abihu. Manoah’s boy Samson didn’t win the “son-of-the-year award”! And Samuel, a recognized moral and spiritual giant, watched his sons reject his example and teaching and pursue lives of bribery and shame. Since Adam, kids “doing their own thing” have broken their parents’ hearts! So what’s a parent to do? (1) Realize you’re not responsible for their decisions. They make their own choices. Condemning yourself just discourages you, and it undermines your ability to be the parent they need. The Bible says, “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jnh 2:9). He saves and delivers—not you. (2) Pray for them and give them to God. Anxiety and frustration will only make you the kind of parent they don’t enjoy being around, and who can’t enjoy them. You’re not built to carry such a load; your heavenly Father is, and He wants to carry it for you! (See 1Pe 5:7). (3) Remember that God loves them more than you do! He gave His only child to save yours. He knows their heart, and how to reach it and turn it toward Him (See Jer 17:9-10). So give your child to Him!