As the Care Coordinator Supervisor at a Behavioral Health Center, I often remind my staff that “You are not driving your client’s car – They are! It’s their life and your role is to sit in the passenger’s seat and hold the map. They may accept your directions or they may go their own route. Either way, you must remember to let them drive. At the same time, make sure that your own seat belt is fastened because they may wreck! And if they do, you can’t let it ruin your life, too.” As I was thinking of this, I realized that we can use the same analogy with raising children.
Children start out in the back seat, snuggly buckled into their car seat with the parents driving the car. Things usually go smoothly for those first formative years. The parents make all of the major decisions for they are driving the car. Then, before you know it – your precious “bundle of joy” now has an attitude and a driver’s permit! We change seats. The teen is now driving. They still need guidance and direction, (which they use when you’re in the car.) When you’re not, they may push the limits and have to learn lessons the hard way and may get a ticket or even have a wreck! Parents spend much time in prayer for we know that we’re not driving anymore – we’re now sitting in the passenger’s seat. Then – it happens! The child is not a child anymore. They are all grown-up. They have their own careers, their own homes, and it’s a rare occasion that you even get to get in the car with them. When you do – you, the parent are in the back seat and the roles have totally reversed. You no longer have “a say” in the decisions and choices that they make. You can only give “directions” from the back seat, if you’re asked.
I don’t know about you, but parenting adult children is TOUGH! It’s hard to realize that other people have more influence over your child than you do. You have to come to terms with “It’s their choice.” They are now the driver, and you may find yourself in the back seat, holding on for dear life! So, what’s a parent to do? If you’ve taught your children and brought them up in the “way of the Lord,” then, you’ve just got to “trust the training.” You know, Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Training requires a “trainer” and a “trainee.” Some “trainees” are more difficult to train than others. And, of course – this verse says, “should go,” it doesn’t always work out that way, (there are always exceptions to every rule), but you can go to bed in peace each night, knowing that you did your part. Now, it’s up to the “trainee” to do their part. Regardless, never forget the power of prayer. May we “be careful for nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6)
No matter where you are on the road of life, we have a Savior, Jesus Christ, our Lord who will never leave us or forsake us! God Bless, Courtney