Bring [your children] up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
I admit that it was difficult to watch my two children, Danae and Ryan, grow up. I knew they couldn’t remain children forever, and I certainly didn’t want to freeze their development. But I loved every minute of their childhood, and I cherish the memories we created.
I worked especially hard on “letting go” of Danae during her last three years at home. One of the most difficult times occurred when she was fifteen. She was having trouble getting ready for school on time, and I repeatedly rescued her by driving her there at the last minute. Finally, Jim and I agreed that it was time for Danae to accept full responsibility for beating the tardy bell.
One morning Danae missed her carpool ride, and she appeared at my door as I was preparing for an appointment. I ignored her hints about driving her, and we lived too far from school for her to walk. When she realized I wasn’t going to rescue her, she called Dial‐A‐Ride, our city‐sponsored cab company. She gathered her books and sat on the curb in front of our house with her head down, waiting for the cab.
I reluctantly faced one of my most difficult assignments ever. I backed my car out of the driveway and drove off, leaving my beloved teenage daughter dejected and alone. My mind flooded with all the horrible things that could happen to a young girl by herself. I asked God to protect Danae and help her learn from this experience.
The Lord heard my prayer. Danae came bounding into the house after school, threw her books on the table, and wailed, “Oh, Mother! How embarrassing! Do you know what kind of cab Dial‐A‐Ride has? It is a huge, old, beat‐up station wagon. The driver drove me right up in front of the school, and all my friends saw me. Oh, I will never do that again!” The next morning, Danae was up at the crack of dawn.
It’s extremely difficult for loving, caring parents to let their vulnerable children face embarrassment or failure. Our impulse is to bail them out or cover for their irresponsibility. But if we have faith in our objectives—and in our kids—we’ll stay the course and all do some growing up together.
- Shirley M Dobson