CAUTION! by Nita Kuehn

Moms and dads, I am not kidding!  A precious friend often refers to certain times in her life as “Mama Bear moments.” I am sure you can relate, and I certainly do. Somehow, somewhere, sometime, our child appears to be in a bad situation, and we feel the great need to rise up and defend them.

Honestly, all of us want to protect those we love and keep them from making poor decisions. We may even work hard to remove obstacles that seem to be in their way. While they are toddlers, this is a very helpful and important thing, but as they mature, it can be counterproductive. We must allow them to begin making decisions – even as simple as what clothes to wear to school that day; begin discussing solutions with them rather than for them; and allowing them to experience the consequences of their decisions and behaviors. All of this helps them grow and mature but can be difficult and painful at times for both parent and child.

I so clearly remember a rough season when my daughter was in her early teens. She had befriended a classmate that her dad and I were very concerned about. We had multiple conversations with her about this friendship, but she was convinced that she could be a good influence and rescue him. (Wonder where she got that from?!!)  So John and I kept it close to our hearts and a matter of much prayer.

Then, one day, Deanna came home from her bus ride sobbing. Her “friend” had bashed her in the mouth as they exited the bus. He did not like her attitude about something.

I held her in my arms and very quietly thanked the Lord for protecting her and revealing to her a valuable life lesson – hard as it was.

Dr. James Dobson encourages us as parents to allow our children the liberty to make decisions, mistakes, and experience the consequences while they are under our roof. We can help them learn and navigate the tough times while they are still manageable. When they are grown and gone, the journey can be much more difficult if they have not had any practice.

In 1 Samuel chapter 2, we hear the very sad story of Eli, a highly respected and faithful priest. However, Eli failed to correct and discipline his sons, even though he knew they were disobeying the Lord. The Lord spoke to Eli through a man of God and said, “Why do you honor your sons more than me…”  God ended their lives.

Parenting is not easy. We need every bit of God’s wisdom and the power of the Holy Spirit on a moment-by-moment basis. Prayer is our most powerful tool, and His Word our most powerful guide. Please, my friends, don’t try to navigate this rocky path without HIM.

Proverbs 1:4 puts it this way:  These proverbs will give you great skill to teach the immature and make them wise, to give youth the understanding of their design and destiny.  (TPT)  Yes, Lord, that is what we truly desire!

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