I pondered this morning in how difficult it is as a parent to let go of my children as they grow up. I want them to become adults, but I miss when they were totally dependent on Anne and I for everything. My wants gets mixed up with the needs of my children. I know that Will and Abby need to grow-up and break away from their dependence on Anne and myself as their parents, but I still find myself wanting them to stay small with all their great needs. At this point, I find myself realizing that for me to want this is to satisfy my own wants and not that of my children needs for growth. I realize also, that parenting is more than teaching mychildren to learn things; it is for them to succeed at doing these tasks successfully on their own. That is at least the outcome I hope for. But, for that to happen, I have to let go and let them succeed and/or fail with each challenge they face.
This led me this morning in wondering about my relationship with God, “Is it much the same, do I want to stay a child, or does God want me to be less dependent on him? Is in fact my relationship with him like that of a dependent child who is constantly asking for things, that is, one who is totally dependent on God for everything?”
I remembered what Paul said in his letter to the Hebrews.
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:12-14
So, it appears that God does want me to be less dependent on him for everything. But, what are the things that he would want me to depend on him for? And, what are the things that he would like me to do on my own? This in turn led me to think, “How do I teach my children to be independent?” I give them a task and guide them with each undertaking until they can do it successfully on their own. In thinking on this further, “Sometimes I have to stand back and let Will and Abby fail in order for them to realize that it is ok for them to recognize that they don’t have to do it perfect the first time, that comes with the following tries. Parenting and Christian growth then appear to be much the same. I am starting to see now how God looks at our lives as his children.