Trying to be God?
Paul Tripp suggests that there are only two ways of living: 1) Trusting God and living in submission to His will and rule or 2) Trying to be God.
As sinners, we seem to be much better at the second option. Tripp defines successful parenting as “the rightful, God-ordained loss of control.” Our goal is to work ourselves out of the job. We need to raise our once totally dependent children to be mature, independent people who can stand on their own two feet while relying on God.
It’s not easy letting go.
When your son or daughter was born, you were in control of everything. Infants need lots of care and cannot make decisions for themselves. You choose what he ate, when he slept, what he wore, where he went, who could be with him. Soon that baby started moving on his own, and he could crawl down the hallway even if you didn’t want him too. He could unravel the roll of toilet paper, drop his food on the floor, and eventually say “no”. Deciding everything was tiring and at times stressful, but there was also complete power and control.
Just like me?
The changes creep up on us slowly, but eventually your child was making friends, having play dates at someone else’s home, riding a bicycle, going to school, joining teams and more. We expect our kids to turn out just like us, and we are often surprised to learn that they have their own thoughts, interests, joys, and dreams. Your daughter may not like the sports you played. Your son may like working with metal instead of wood. She may love books and not care for your music. These discoveries can be amazing and hard to handle at the same time.
In an attempt to keep our children safe, we sometimes resort to tight-fisted control of everything they do. This generation of parents is sometimes called “helicopter parents” because we hover over our children trying to watch them all the time. There are no guarantees. You cannot protect them from everything. Only God can do that. And He will wisely allow them to face struggles that will help them grow stronger. Our goal is to to used by God to instill in them self-control and maturity through God’s Word, and to allow them to exercise increasing circles of choice, control, and independence.
Here are three key truths of the Gospel that are important to remember.
All is under control by God and Jesus Christ. “And God placed all things under His (Jesus) feet and appointed Him to be head over everything.” Ephesians 1:22
God is sovereign and is at work in every situation. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him” Romans 8:28
My goal is not to control and conform my child to my image but to the image of Christ. “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6
Are you trying to control everything in your life or the life of your teenager? It is so much easier to try to control everything, but it is wrong. It is comforting to know you have it all in control, but you really don’t. There are no guarantees. Check your heart and make sure the idol of control has not taken over and caused you to lose track of the goals of godly parenting. Are you trusting God or trying to be God?
For more about discovering idols in your heart, listen to the Gospel Treason series by Brad Bigney. He also wrote a book, Gospel Treason: Betraying the Gospel With Hidden Idols.
I’m praying for you! Let me know how I can help or better serve you and your family.
in HIS service,Pastor Mark
P.S. The themes and main ideas come from Paul David Tripp’s book “Age of Opportunity”. I’m summarizing what I read, adding my own thoughts and Scripture too.
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