Children are not yet mature.
Now that should not be a surprise. There is absolutely nothing wrong with children not yet being mature. They are in the formative stages of their lives. They are in the process of maturing into someone who thinks and speaks in a way that is mature. Yet, sometimes parents are uncomfortable and even explode over the immaturity of their children. Children don’t need to be criticized for their immaturity but patiently nurtured toward maturity. Yes, I know this is difficult but it is the reality of being a parent.
Parents are imperfect.
Every single parent is imperfect. We all have made mistakes with our children. No need to wallow in guilt. This is a reality of being a parent. Yet, there are several kinds of parents that concern me.
• Controling, smothering parents are those parents who do not give their children adequate experience in making good decisions. These parents try to control most every detail of the child’s life. Maybe this is rooted in a parent's own fear. As a result, these children grow up with little confidence in their ability to deal with life.
• Permissive parents basically close their eyes to situations in their children's lives. They just don’t deal with what is happening. The problem is not their imperfect children. Rather, these parents permit and allow instead of guiding, teaching, correcting, etc.
• Some parents have little or no spiritual vision for their children. These parents may spare no expense to get their children special tutors, training, classes, etc. for any kind of academic or athletic endeavor. Yet, these same children may be woefully underdeveloped spiritually. These children may have no sense at all for what Jesus is calling them to be and do in this world.
Some parents basically have a vision for their children that is basically centered around the possibility of future affluence and material success. "We just want them to be happy." Any spiritual vision for their children is reduced to "we want them to one day keep going to church."
Families need encouragement.
Nothing can be more discouraging to a dad or mom than having to deal with their own shortcomings and mistakes. Many parents experience a deep sense of failure as they see their children make choices that are wrong, destructive, and even ungodly. Through all of this, parents need encouragement. Their children need encouragement as well.
A friend of mine was listening to a Christian executive talk about his very successful company. He was explaining how his business had grown. He talked about the way he treated his employees. He said, “I lavish grace on the people who work for me. That is, I give them space for failure as we seek to improve things in the company. Experience has taught me that removing a paralyzing spirit of failure from them unleashes incredible creativity and productivity.”
Maybe, more and more families need to experience the grace of God which removes the "paralyzing spirit of failure."