Friday, October 10, 2014

parenting out of trust-not the need to control

As I’ve become more of a grown up, I’ve been startled by the number of grown up responsibilities that consume my life. The greatest of theses is parenting my children. It is hard, a sacred and holy work. 

I never really realized how controlling I was until the kids started showing up. And I’ve learned along that way that a lot of my parenting has been based in fear of the unknown, unplanned, or unwanted. 

We talked about that one all important question that every control freak needs to ask themselves. Once we ask that, we need to figure to out what to do with the answer. 

What does fear based parenting look like? 

It looks like not allowing time with friends for fear of what the friends might expose your kids too.

It looks like not granting the freedom for independence when they are ready for it.

It looks like not trusting them to make the right choices. 

It looks like sheltering them, secluding them, running after them, and giving them no space to have their own time, their own ideas, their own lives.

Of course, wisdom is important in parenting. We have a responsibility to properly care for our kids. I’m not advocating a laissez-faire approach to parenting. I am striving for trust based parenting. As a Christ follower I know that God has the best of everything for my kids and he will give me the best of wisdom as I raise them. If that really is true the I better take God at his word and let him do the safe keeping.

Parenting out of trust means we pray that God will give our children wisdom beyond their years. And we ask God to give us wisdom to discern what’s really going in our kids lives.

It’s releasing them to make mistakes, because you know they still have the safety net of home to fall back on. And then graciously loving them towards God’s truth when they make those mistakes. Parenting out of trust teaches kids how to get back up when they fall.

Parenting out of trust looks like allowing them to make age appropriate decisions because we know the truth of God’s word when it says he really does hold all things together. Parenting out of trust believes that to be true and releases control to God. He knows better anyway. Because the last time I checked the Bible, God never really told his kids to shut up out of anger. But I have. 

Being in control is a good thing, to a point. But being a control freak, especially when it comes to our kids, is very dangerous. It demonstrates that we don’t trust them. And it smothers them.

I love what Dallas Willard says about this. “We are always to respect other people as spiritual beings who are responsible before God alone for the course they chose to take of their own free will…We are not to harass them into rightness and goodness with our condemnings.” Of course, we’re not talking about two year olds here, we’re talking about teenagers and pre-teen agers who need to learn how to be adults.

The choice is clear, to parent based in fear or to parent based on trust? One leads to controlling and one leads to freedom.


This is part of a month long series on Quitting the Legacy of Control, and putting an end to our control freak ways. Catch up on the rest of the posts hereor by clicking the button below.

1 comment:

  1. This is a big one for me. I have let fear do my parenting most of the time. I have tried to hyper control my children's lives. Thanks for this series.


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