Don’t let anyone fool you. It happens at any age. It’s the struggle of parents over how much to intervene in the decisions of their children. Should I stop my toddler before he grabs the burning hot cookie? Should I keep my pre-teen daughter from talking to the boy who’s using her for her brains? Should I make my child go to bed when it’s obvious the morning will come too soon? Should I rush to the jail to make bail for my adult child?
A good Christian parent often wonders whether intervention will be the help the child needs to make wise decisions in the future…or will it be the hurt that will prevent the child from ever learning to make tough decisions alone. Believe me, I know it’s not easy to decide. Heather and I have struggled with this since our children were old enough to think for themselves.
It certainly helps to ask whether our intervention will move the child closer to Jesus or further from Him. It also helps to pray fervently before stepping in. It’s good to ask whether our child needs help in becoming more sacrificial and unconditional in his or her love since these qualities don’t come naturally. Some guidance and intervention WILL be necessary for children to learn to make decisions according to God’s perfect will. Those who say we should totally abstain from any intervention in the decisions of our children are certainly allowing their children to continue in their sinful way on a path toward destruction.
In this struggle of parenting, it’s such a comfort to know Jesus is STILL on top! As we seek His direction, we’ll do what’s best for our children most of the time. And, when we mess up…He’s always there to forgive us in His grace and mercy. Now that helps!