Posted by: Ety W. | May 20, 2008

What Do You Want for Your Children?

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I want my children ____ (fill in the blank) ______.
– To have a better life than I did growing up
– To be successful
– To be happy
– To love and serve the Lord
– Other

In talking with and listening to parents over the years, these are some things I’ve heard over and over again. No one will argue that these aren’t good things. I too, have wanted good things for my children, and used to try and plan for them to have these things. However, at some point I began to contemplate this verse,

For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24 (NASB)

Usually this verse is used in reference to marriage, but there is something in it for parents as well; “shall leave his father and his mother”. Through this verse I realized that someday my children were going to grow up, leave home, and go on to live their own lives. Perhaps in marriage, but perhaps not.

Understanding that began to change my understanding of my responsibility for them, because it shifted my focus from them as children, and caused me to begin to look at them as future adults. It shifted my parenting goal from my children’s happiness and personal fulfillment, to their future lives as mature, responsible adults. My responsibility was not to ensure their happiness, but to prepare them for the life they would live after they left home.

This might seem a small point, but it has been important to me. It’s helped me to make some hard decisions but more importantly, it’s helped keep me from trying to impose my own plans onto their lives. It isn’t my job to plan out their lives for them. That’s the Lord’s job. My job is to cooperate with the Lord in getting them to that point.


  1. In a message about the family, our pastor said that our job as parents is to train our children in such a way that they move from depending on us to depending on God. What a great way to describe parenthood. That has been my goal ever since then.

    I have watched friends recently struggling with kids leaving the home – it’s as if they never anticipated that would happen and want to cling and hold them back. I’ve watched others who have intentionally trained their young boys to be men, and now these young men are ready to make their own way, and their parents don’t seem to have the same desperate (unhealthy?) clinginess.

    I hope I learn something!! LOL

    I’m a Believer!

  2. Laura, that image of shifting dependencies from us to God is a really good one. Thanks for sharing.

    I have to admit that personally, it’s been a tough transition. That makes me thankful that the Lord gave me that verse and kept bringing it to mind over the years, or else I think it would have been tougher.

    I finally realized that the desire to hang on to them is really all about me and my own maternal “needs” and sense of purpose. Realizing that helped quite a bit. Now I’m focusing on making a transition in my relationship with them; from parent-child to sister-brother/sister in the Lord.

  3. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Macrocosmically!

  4. Macrocosmically, thank you so much for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I’m always willing to try and clarify. If you would like to discuss it, please let me know.

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