Part 2: Overcoming
This article is adapted from Jason’s book Abandoned Faith.
“Inevitably we carry some amount of parental regrets. Freedom from regret comes when we admit our weaknesses before Jesus. No one is perfect. Our imperfections, though, shouldn’t become a wall between God and us or our children and God. At the cross we can lay down our regrets over our failures and move on. Remember that even the great heroes of the Bible did things they regretted.” — Mary DeMuth, Building the Christian Family You Never Had: A Practical Guide for Pioneer Parents.
Holding on to regrets prevents you from experiencing true freedom in Christ. It’s hard not to think back on all the moments you should have acted differently.
The would-of-could-of-should-of attitude does not help. It only makes matters worse between you and your millennial child. The key is not to regret having regrets. It will only bring on more regrets. What you need to do is give your regrets over to God and allow His healing power to take control of your life. Like the old saying goes, you can’t change the past, but you can learn from it.
Being tossed around by waves of regret is actually where Satan wants you to be. He doesn’t want you to let your regrets go. He wants you to drown in them. And every time you see your son or daughter making bad choices—Satan wants you to feel regret. He wants you to blame yourself for their sinful choices. But like the apostle Paul, you need to gain the assurance of saying, “One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead (Philippians 3:13).”
Stop living in the past. Rather, look forward to how God can use you in the life of your millennial right now. Take your focus off of fear-driven parenting, and turn it to a faith-driven parenting.
The Psalmist says those who look to God will reflect His glory and will not be ashamed. Every parent needs to hear that. They need to know that they don’t have to live a shameful life. What they need to do is let it go, and trust that God will restore their family.
When we’ve done that, we can become excited about what lies in store. God has uniquely equipped you to minister to your children. One of the greatest ways to be a conduit of grace is by living it out for others to see. Paul declared, “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27).”
When a Christian parent lives out his or her faith in a way honorable to God, it will have a lasting impact on their children!
Release Your Children
Moses’ parents saw how special their baby boy was and did not fear the Pharaoh’s edict. Rather than be stricken by fear, they released their son to God. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Children are a gift. But they are also on loan. You don’t own your children. They may have your DNA. But they are made in the image of God. You would lay your life down for your kids. But Jesus laid His life down and rose again so that your kids may have eternal life.
Give each of your children completely and totally over to God. You will be glad you did.