The apostle Paul reminds us that childhood is a temporary state: “When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me” (1 Corinthians 13:11). Even with proper preparation and forethought, the task of releasing your grown children is never easy.
The late Erma Bombeck likened the parenting responsibility to flying a kite. You start by trying to get the little craft off the ground. You’re running down the road as fast as you can with this awkward kite flapping in the wind behind you. Sometimes it crashes to the ground, so you tie on a longer tail and try again. Your heart pounds when it catches a gust of wind and flies dangerously close to the power lines. Then, without warning, the kite tugs on the string and ascends into the sky. You release your grip little by little until you come to the end of the twine. You stand on tiptoe holding the last inch between your thumb and forefinger. Then, reluctantly, you let go, permitting the kite to soar unfettered and independent in God’s blue heaven. It’s an exhilarating and terrifying moment, one ordained from the day of your child’s birth. Your task as a parent is finished. The kite is free and, for the first time in twenty years, so are you.
We urge you to keep this final event of parenting in mind. Your goal is to instill the necessary components of character and self-control so that your young adult is equipped to stand alone. The centerpiece of that assignment, as we have seen, is to give your sons and daughters an unshakable faith in Jesus Christ that will see them through life’s twists and turns.
Before you say good night…
Do you have a clear fix on the ultimate goal of your parenting years?
Are you on target in meeting that objective?
O Lord, how difficult it seems to get this right! Help us to stay focused on our first priority as parents—delivering our children safely into Your hands. Amen.