Welcome to God's Lemonade Stand

It is my hope that by reading this daily you will grow in your walk with Christ and be set free from any struggles in your life that are weighing you down. Be blessed to be a blessing.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

BACK OFF MOM

This is written to help moms of adult children but perhaps it can help some of the others of you out there. If you have been a mom you know how easy it is to still 'be a mom' when your children are well beyond childhood, on their own and at times married or engaged. A couple weeks ago out of the clear blue I texted my son and asked if he had lined his cabinets in his new home with shelf liner. Say what? Where did that random 'mom comment' come from? Funny now but when I asked it I was promptly ignored. I am sure he can figure out how to take care of his new kitchen after all he has been on his own for a few years now. What made me say this comment? As a mom of an adult child we have to really make a concerted effort to back off and give God the total control of this grown up person he allowed us to raise. 1 Samuel 1:27-28 says " I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.  So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.And he worshiped the LORD there."

We may be asked our opinion sometimes but we need to make a great effort to not interfere with their adult life and assume the new role of parent to a successful grown up. Do not try to tell them what to do or try to control their life. Sometimes I think it is a good idea if the adult child ,especially when married ,can live away from mom and dad and totally enjoy their newlywed life without mom and dad feeling like they have to pop in. Sure parents are vitally important but we need to learn when to give our children the space they so greatly need. We all make mistakes. We can love them without smothering them. And our love takes on a different form when they give their love to their new spouse. We take a back seat, as we should.

For those reading this who are unmarried or married but without children I am not trying to make you feel bad. Maybe you will get a laugh or two out of the mega control of some moms. Recently too I scraped my college 'mom' decal off the back window of my car. This was a painfully hard thing to do. When you have been a college mom and proud of the sticker it is hard to let it go. Guess what, when they graduate you graduate too. I have to confess I am thinking of buying another one next time I am in Birmingham. This sticker was my 'umbilical cord' of sorts and sort of made me feel I still had a part in their little world. You sort of have an identity in some 'little club' of sorts. Do not get me wrong this does not mean I lived my life through my child as I did not but we are proud and sort of feel a part and when that part goes we are happy but a new chapter begins and at times is hard to adjust to. When they first go to college you have to let go. Prayer is the only thing you can do. You can not expect your grown child to check in with you every minute of the day and plan what he or she does. I heard of someone once whose parents wanted to make their childs' college schedule and decide what he would major in. We should not do this. You have to trust that how you raised them they will follow suit and become the respectable citizens you want them to be. Proverbs 22:6 says "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." The best thing to do after they leave home is get a job, a new hobby, or get involved in volunteer work so you stay busy and above all be on your knees in prayer!

When you are the mom of an infant, toddler, small child, junior or high school student you learn in stages when to let go and give them tiny bits of freedom. This is necessary for them to have healthy release and healthy boundaries. It is never healthy to control anyone. Just as a man is the authority of the house he is not the 'dad' of his wife and the wife is not the 'mom' of her husband. You train a child, discipline them when needed, establish boundaries and pray that when they are old they stay on the path of truth and morality you have taught them.

The stages of separation begin when you first leave the little infant in the care of a baby sitter for the first time. Then it is maybe leaving them in the nursery at church. Next comes a sleep over at a friends. Next is pre-school. Then comes kindergarten for a half day.Finally the child goes to school the entire day where he is totally outside of your influence. You have to have trust and faith. In high school he gets his driver's license and maybe even a car and is really on his own then. In between this there may be an occasional camp they attend. Then comes the stage where they go off to college. And after college sometime, perhaps marriage. Marriage is when the mom REALLY needs to back off as then her child has got a new 'number one' in their life. Even back off when they plan their wedding unless you are asked. I am blessed with a wonderful 'daughter in law to be' and her excellent family. We all get along super. It is an answer to 27 years of prayer. Prayer is important all during the development from womb to birth and on. Instead of worrying try praying. 1 Peter 5:7 says "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

There may be moms out there that feel it is cruel to spank or not let a child have his way. Proverbs 29:15 has something to say about that as it says "The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother." We have all seen it. A child throws a tantrum and the mom gives in. Back in the early 90's in church a child in front of me, who was about two at the time, during  the time we shake hands with visitors, actually spit on me!! His mom did nothing at all. I heard later the dad wanted to discipline the child but mom sort of let this young lad have his own way. I often wonder if he ended up in juvenile detention somewhere. I hope and pray not.

So we are on a journey. None of us are perfect. It is not an easy thing to keep your mouth shut when it comes to trying to back off 'mommyhood' of an adult child. I for one want a super relationship with my soon to be daughter in law so I ask God  to help me not interfere and pray for them daily. We are so blessed to get to welcome such a wonderful young lady into our family. Her family did a superb job raising her ,it is evident!! And God through our prayers brought them together.

Moms out there of all ages or moms to be, remember that your relationship with God should be first. Then with your husband. Then when children come along do not forget that you are married and only pay attention to the little baby or many men feel neglected. Pray right now that God will help you release your children in appropriate stages and if you mess up apologize. I have had to. I do not mean to butt in but sometimes I accidentally do. We need to rely on God to help us on our journey to be terrific moms at every stage of development and ask him for the power to release and let go of your grown adults. It has to be done. And if you are reading this and not married and want to be ask that God would keep you patient until that part of his plan is fulfilled in your life.  It is possible to have a wonderful new fun relationship with your adult children!

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for the wonderful blessing of being able to be a mom. I love my children. I pray for the ability to be the kind of mom you want me to be and to have the ability with your help to not interfere in the lives of my adult children. Lord I pray today that you will guide what I say and do and help me to have self control and not pester my adult children all the time. Help us to have an awesome relationship. For those reading this without adult children my prayer for them is to guide them as they raise their children to love and serve youand to learn when to let go when necessary. In Jesus Name. Amen.  

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