Today is Mother’s Day! I’m writing this post because you may be feeling like a failure with your kids simply because they don’t listen. You give wise advice and sometimes they turn around and walk in the opposite direction – they just don’t want to hear it.
Today was one of those days for me. After a conversation with my son, I felt frustrated. I felt like a failure. So, I sat down to listen to God. Boy, did He speak. He didn’t rebuke me; rather He offered me solid biblical advice I could carry with me.
And we all know that God’s wisdom is the BEST when it’s lived out.
I figured this might benefit you as well.
Here are five things that may help when our kids don’t listen:
1. Let go of your expectations!
There are many things in our life that cause us to put high expectations on our children. Maybe we want our kids to have what we didn’t have, we want to see our kids succeed, we see their potential, or we want to be that proud parent standing in the crowd yelling, “That’s my son!” I know. I’m one of those parents.
But imposing high expectations on our children can drive them away from us, instead of to us, especially if they feel as though they’ve failed us. And they might never follow their ambitions or goals if theirs differ from ours. They don’t want to disappoint, so they end up doing something they don’t want to do, or they become estranged.
This can lead to bitterness and anger in our children, and hurt and pain in us. So, give your expectations to God and trust Him to fulfill His purpose in their lives. Encourage them today!
Here’s something we need to remember: we need to find our completeness in Christ (Colossians 2:10). When we embrace our identity in Christ, then we won’t try to find it in our kids. So many parents do that.
2. Let them fly!
Mommy birds have to let their offspring out of the nest some time. Baby birds would never learn to fly if their mom kept them under their wings forever. They may fall to the ground, or flutter awkwardly, but they need to do it on their own.
This can be scary, but our kids need to learn to fly on their own too. They may make mistakes and do things way different than we would. But, we need to let them find their way. We learn from our mistakes. Our kids will, too.
Trust me, this is speaking to me.
3. Relinquish them!
Paul gives a wise warning to parents: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). This means that we shouldn’t make our kids angry. And we can certainly do that by always trying to get them to do what we want.
Listen to them! Find out what their passions are! And encourage them to pursue them.
And then, of course, let go and let God do it.
4. Don’t act in anger!
Nothing good ever comes from acting in our anger. I’ve tried it many times and never once did anything good come from it. You’ve probably done it, too. I mean, we are only human!
But here’s what I will practice more than not: No matter how angry I am, I will give myself a waiting period – a cooling off period – before saying or doing anything. And during that time, I will pray and go before God.
It’s best to do this before ever reacting. Our responses will be much more in line with the Bible if we wait.
Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” Oh, such wise advice.
Guess what? I had to go back and apologize today because I said things when I was a little heated inside. I will try and heed this counsel more often.
5. Be assured!
Be assured that God is protecting your children, whether they are living for Him or not. We learn in Job 1:10 that God had put a hedge of protection around Job [and his whole family]. It’s the same for us. God is protecting our children even – and especially – when they are in a bad place.
Be assured that God has heard your prayers. He has not abandoned you or your loved ones.
Be assured that God will come to your rescue.
I hope today’s post ministered to your heart. Please share this with others.