My confession: I am the controlling mom.
At least, I try to be.
I am not a Tiger Mother, exactly. I am not standing over my children with a ruler while they practice piano. I just try to plan every single detail of the lives of my children in the future. I have picked out where I want them to live (near me, of course). There are some young ladies I have suggested as marriageable possibilities when the time is right. I may have even thrown out the hint that it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they named their eldest daughters after me.
Innocent, helpful hints to give them a good start in life.
For some reason, it’s not always appreciated.
This wasn’t much of a problem until my boys became teenagers. My oldest son is 18 and a college student, so my attempts to control the details of his life aren’t especially welcome. It’s like he has a mind of his own. My 16 year old son is even less tolerant of my interference, though he is in a less independent position. He has to, at least, listen to me for a few more years.
Let me explain.
You see, I really want what is best for them. Plus, you know, I’ve lived longer than they have, and I understand things better than they do, so they need my help.
[Tweet “I understand things better than they do, so they need my help. @FundamentalHome #imperfectmom”]
You don’t believe me either, do you?
OK. Here’s the truth. These are my babies! I don’t care if they are grown men with facial hair, bank accounts, and truck payments. Underneath all of those things are my sweet little boys. What’s a mom to do when her precious young men grow up and want to have lives of their own?
Herein lies the point of my confession. I lack faith. It’s not love that motivate me, it’s fear.
[Tweet “Herein lies the point of my confession. I lack faith. It’s not love that motivate me, it’s fear. @FundamentalHome #imperfectmom”]
It’s hard to come to the point where you really just have to let go.
When our children are born, and we have no clue what we are doing. We have to rely on faith just to begin to raise them up. We don’t know how to feed them, much less teach them to read or get them to adulthood! Every moment with that newborn is an act of faith.
Then, 18 years go by, and you begin to think that you know everything and your children can’t function without you. You can forget the faith that was required to raise them up.
That same faith will be required to let them go. It’s hard to let them take the training wheels off and pedal down the street unescorted. It’s even harder to send them off into the world.
So, here I am. Watching my oldest son ride down the street. No training wheels. I can’t help but yell at him to mind the bumps in the road and watch out for cars. I can hear him shout back, “I’ve got it, Mom!” I want to say something encouraging like, “Great job, Son!” or “You’ve got this!” Instead, I stand paralyzed with fear, praying he will make it back safe.
I am breathing and every thought is a prayer. “Lord, let him have a life where everything is smooth. Let him choose an excellent young woman who loves him. Protect him! Keep him!”
The Lord reminds me that my children are really his children.
Psalm 127 says, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
The Lord has built our house, and He is the one who will keep it. It is vain to attempt to watch over my children so critically. I don’t need to worry. I need to rest in the Lord because those boys are God’s heritage. They are His reward. They are arrows, not meant to remain in the quiver, but to fly out and hit the mark.
[Tweet “The Lord has built our house, and He is the one who will keep it. @FundamentalHome #imperfectmom”]
So, I confess, my friends. This is my struggle. I need to have faith to let my children grow into adults and have their own lives. I need to relax and try not to control everything. I need God, and so do my children.
This mom isn’t perfect. She is a nervous wreck on the inside, BUT she does know the One who is perfect. He is the One who really has things under control. It’s time stop trying to grab the reigns from Him. It’s time to practice my faith.
I am still nervous as I watch my boy ride off into the sunset, but I have mustered up the strength to say, “Have fun, Son!” He’s got a big smile on his face as I turn and walk back into the house.
Thank you, Lord for your protection.
About the Author:
Amanda Bealle is dedicated to serving her family as a wife and homeschooling mother of three. In her spare time, she is finishing her degree in Early Childhood Education, helping her husband in ministry, and attempting to garden. You can find more information about Amanda and her family at The Fundamental Home. Also find them on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Youtube or Pinterest.
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