This is just me thinking out loud, tonight. Lately, I’ve been experiencing a high level of anxiety related to our kids. Of the “unavoidable not fun things” in parenting, the most difficult for me has been the loss of each child’s innocence.
It comes in different ways and I say it’s unavoidable because it is. At some point they see things they shouldn’t see, or don’t understand; or someone does something really mean; or someone teaches them things they don’t need to know yet; or tragedy strikes; or there’s just a gradual awakening to the ways of the world (this would be my preferable method…just a gradual realization, rather than a sudden plunge into murky waters).
I’ve got one kid left who’s still pretty innocent. His mind hasn’t been infiltrated by older kids, by inappropriate images or by foul language, for the most part. He still loves to play with his stuffed animals and he’s so sweet. And I found myself grieving that he’s the last baby and wishing he could stay innocent forever.
This world our kids are growing up in is tough. There are so many things that could destroy them – pornography, drugs and alcohol, sexual foolishness, bullying, social media. It’s just a lot to think about.
I realized my anxiety is coming from a strong need/desire to control my kid’s circumstances, as if I could keep out all the bad stuff if only I could gain enough control.
But that isn’t true. Stuff happens. We have to keep lines of communication open with our kids, be involved at school, get to know their friends and have lots of conversations such that there are no taboo subjects. We need to love them like crazy. They need to know home is a safe place.
Above all we need to pray for them. A lot. We need to teach them Gods ways because His way is best. He made us and He knows what causes us to thrive and what is destructive. I pray for good friends for each of my kids. I pray that they would follow Jesus, that they would be brave and kind, that they would be wise, that they would learn from their small mistakes and avoid the really big ones.
I pray they would honor the opposite sex and their own bodies, be respectful and be pure in heart. I pray that they would learn to love, be compassionate and serve others.
I pray for wisdom for us, for discernment for each situation and for peace to overcome anxiety.
I pray for love to conquer fear.