My wife, Kathy, and I have been married nearly 29 years. We have three
sons ages 22-25, they are all in the middle of pursuing God’s plan for
It often feels that their walk into destiny is actually a walk away
from us. A recurring thought I’ve had as we raised our sons was that
they were trying to move away from us. See, when they crawled, they
crawled away; when they walked, they walked away; when they ran, they
ran away. We taught them to ride bikes, they peddled away, they got
their licenses, they drove away. Now we see them in pursuit of
independence and finding their voices. The problem we are having is
they are fighting to get independence from us and their voices rarely
sound like us. It’s a painful job this calling to be a parent.
It’s getting more painful all the time because the world is getting
scarier and increasingly unsafe. On top of that we are the generation
that has over-indulged and over-protected our children. We have cared
more about their comfort than their character development. We have
done everything we could to keep them from pain – every sharp corner
covered, every outlet protected, “baby on board” signs in every
minivan. We haven’t wanted them to feel the pain of losing either, so
now every sports participant gets a t-shirt and a trophy for just
showing up. We call their bosses if they get harsh evaluations at
work. I recently heard a professor interviewed and he said “parental
intervention is getting out of control”. He was further quoted as
saying “that for the first time in 30 years he was having to regularly
defend grades to parents of undergrad and grad students a like”.
We must stop the madness of constant interference. These young people
are actually God’s plan to bring in the next great harvest. The work
is going to be hard, painful, lonely, humbling, and even dangerous. We
can’t run behind our children any longer with pillows trying to soften
the pain that God himself may be orchestrating.
Our young adults need an alternative to our interference. They need
places that will offer initiation into adulthood. They need places to
find their voices and independence. They need places to be exposed to
real pain and have the Holy Spirit ask, “What will you do about it?”
They need places with close community that will challenge the behaviors
and attitudes that we have previously excused. In short, they need
places to grow up and grow away from us.
The World Race
of these places and it provides this kind of discipleship. It offers
ministry in tough places internationally while bringing ministry to
tough places internally.
Real discipleship should offer real ministry while providing a real invitation to real maturity.
The world needs our kids and we need to let them go!!!