“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother.” Ge 2:24 NIV

You’ll know you’ve succeeded as a parent when your children are able to leave you and go out and build a successful life on their own. You will never cut them off, but there comes a time when you must “cut the apron strings” and let them stand on their own two feet. Remember, the children you are raising right now belonged to God before they belonged to you. “The earth is the Lord’s…and all who live in it” (Ps 24:1 NIV). You are a teacher, not an owner, and your opportunity to teach them is amazingly brief. Your children were born to “leave,” not stay. You can’t control their ticking biological clock. Your job is to prepare them for leaving. For the next few days let’s talk about giving your child roots and wings. “Roots.” Before fruit develops, roots must thrive. And healthy roots require healthy soil with the right elements for feeding and protecting plants. Roots also depend on attachment to the soil. There are two kinds of families. The first offers “insecure attachment.” Their parent-child connection is ambiguous, ambivalent, indifferent or even neglectful, making kids feel emotionally unprotected, uncertain they’re wanted and loved, though they desperately need both these things. These children lack confidence, self-worth, emotional strength, and the courage to take risks. The second offers “secure attachment.” Their parent-child connection is expressed and consistently reinforced. Even during necessary absences their children feel safe and securely attached. Such kids become spiritually, socially and emotionally capable, with the self-worth and courage required to face the challenges life puts in their path.