Parents bewailed about their 18 year old son, “He’s Gone! Gone off with some girl! Took his guitar and the car we bought him. Quit school and headed out-we don’t know where? Where did we go wrong? It must be our fault!”
What did they do wrong? These parents are sure they must be to blame. And the heavy ache in their hearts is made all the more unbearable by the desperate confusion in their minds. “What did we do that we shouldn’t have done? What didn’t we do?”
Maybe you’re asking yourself the same question. But more to the point, if your child is still at home, what are you doing for him now, while you still have opportunity? What are the important things you should do – things you’ll always be glad you did?
First, love him – constantly, no matter what! Even when he’s the least lovable! Show him and tell him you love him. Next discipline him-consistently, firmly, lovingly, and never in anger! Discipline with the goal of promoting self-discipline, with a view to maturity, independence and self-reliance. But basically and most important of all – live continually the kind of life you want him to live.
Second, do you want your child to have a strong Christian personality? Then you must be a Christian. And there’s only one way to do that: Trust Jesus Christ as you Saviour and Lord, committing yourself without reservation to Him. Then as you live day by day before your family , you can ask God for the love, the patience, the wisdom and the understanding that every parent sorely needs.
Their job is to keep loving him wherever he is and to pray continually that God’s love will break through the wall of rebellion and win him to Christ
What am I saying? Christ is not inherited. Each person must make his own commitment to Christ. And until he does that, until he yields to the pressure of love, he may put up a very bitter fight. At school, at work, his friends are living as if there’s no tomorrow. He takes in the political scene and many of the adults he knows and labels are all “gross”. So he decides to join the crowd to “find out who he is” and to “do his own thing.”
This is exactly what this 18 year old did. His parents, of course are devastated. He rejected their love, their life, their unselfish devotion. And they’re tormented with worry: Where is he? How will he make it? What will ever become of him? And, always, “What did we do wrong?”
But these parents are asking the wrong questions. The vital question is “What shall we do now?” The boy is gone. He’s on his own. If they made mistakes, they can’t undo what’s done. Their job is to keep loving him wherever he is and to pray continually that God’s love will break through the wall of rebellion and win him to Christ.
God says in the Bible: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee.” (Jer. 33:3). Let God share all your worries. He is more concerned than you are about everything that concerns you. God loves their boy even more than they do! And it’s only His love in and through the parents that will solve the problem and unite the family.