No matter your thoughts on this family in general, most people are trying to figure out why. Where did things go so wrong? Why did he end up with such a mess of struggles? What specific mistakes did his parents make that resulted in such…failure?
And to be sure, there were things that should have been done differently. But the fact remains that even if they had been done differently, no one can ever know for sure that the outcome would have been different.
We live in a time where we feel like we have complete control. We live with the sense that we’re completely socially evolved, have access enough peer-reviewed information to make research-backed parenting decisions, and are bombarded with all the information, theories, and advice we can handle via the internet.
But these things only give us the illusion of control. And when we believe we have control, we make a list of nevers. And when we make a list of nevers, we inadvertently allow our success or failure as a parent to hinge on our child’s behavior.
But there are no guarantees. As parents we have incredible influence, but we do not have complete control. We are not God.
What nevers do you hold onto?
- My child will never be the bully.
- My child will never drop out of school.
- My child will never cheat on their spouse.
- My child will never go to jail.
- My child will never have a baby in high school.
- My child will never cheat at work.
- My child will never commit fraud.
- My child will never struggle with substance abuse.
- My child will never be abusive to their children.
- My child will never _________.
Do we have the strength to give these nevers to God, and separate our identity, commitment, and effort as a parent from our child’s performance in these areas? Or are we holding tightly to these nevers, and it nearly paralyzes us with fear to think about relinquishing our grip on them?
Did any of those nevers take your breath away? They did mine. And I could have made the list longer, but I just…couldn’t keep going. I guess I’ve got my own set of nevers.
So carry on, mama, and keep on doing the very best you can. But know that the never you’re holding onto, in the deepest depths of your heart, is not completely within your control. Admitting it could be the hardest thing you do as a parent, but giving it to the One who walks this journey beside you is the very best thing.
And as other mamas’ nevers end up happening, show them grace. Because we all need it on this walk at some time or another, and you’re gonna need it too.
What never are you holding onto?