Our second oldest has now left the nest. I went through the gamut of emotion. I felt sadness, relief, excitement, old age…and worry. Have I raised him well enough? Will he be able to survive in this nasty world? Did I fill him with confidence and self-worth? Is he going to be someone who makes a difference for the kingdom of God? Did he see the faith in me…or was I a bad example? Will he make the same stupid mistakes I made? Deep down I know that he needs to make his own mistakes and choices, I just hope that he is equipped. Has my life filled him with a blessing or a burden?
The choices we make as parents affect our children in every way. Where we live, what we eat, how we spend our money, what type of relationship we have with our families….the lists are endless. It can be an overwhelming responsibility. What happens if we live a life full of gossip, secrets, debt, and insincerity? Doesn’t that all get passed on to the next generation? It becomes clear that children take the behavior of their parents to the next level. It works in the other way as well. When we live a life full of faith and honesty it gets passed on as well. They have those tools right from the get go. Right from youth.
Can it be too late for some of us? It’s evident that it can be too late for some things. We can not go back to change our choices. The only solution is taking an honest look at what we can do in the future. It is never too late to start living a life of truth and honesty, and learning to be transparent. Our children know us and can see right through us. Trying to pull the wool over their eyes will never work. Open up the dialogue and ask for honesty. Be prepared for the pain. And at the same time embrace that you can still have a relationship with them…children always want to be part of this relationship. They are built for love, even for their human and imperfect parents. It’s not too late to pass on this blessing.