Have you ever not been able to help your child?
I’ve experienced that debilitating feeling at pivotal points throughout my daughter’s life—when she was hospitalized as a toddler for what we believed was leukemia; when she felt betrayed by a friend in high school; and when she was out of the country as a college student and I couldn’t get to her during her homesickness.
Yet I’ve learned through the years that God knew exactly what He was doing when He allowed my child to go through situations in which Mom couldn’t help. He was building her character and her dependence on Him and teaching me that He could care for her far better than I could.
You and I are hardwired to rush in and rescue our children, especially in situations where we can. Yet I would encourage you to do what I eventually learned to do: Resist the urge to rescue your child from pain and disappointment so that God can perform the rescue, Himself.
Reasons Not to Rush In
Perhaps you’ve already had situations where you wanted to rush in and rescue your child, teenager, or even college-aged child when he or she was experiencing difficulty. But I can give you three good reasons to resist the urge to rush in:
1. God already has a better rescue plan and you don’t want to shortchange your child of that by rushing in ahead of Him.
2. God wants to help our children resolve the problem themselves, which they’ll never learn how to do if we keep stepping in.
3. God wants our children to ask Him for help. When we don’t rush in to rescue, that leaves our children to go to God with their requests and wait on Him for their rescue. It’s a powerful lesson for them to see how God comes to their aid. It develops their faith and helps them become people of prayer.
How to Graciously Back Off
Here are some practical ways to eliminate worry and experience God’s peace as you surrender the tendency to rescue and let God do His work in your child’s life:
1. Replace Your Fear with God’s Truth
We fear that our child is on his or her own, but the truth is that God has said, “Never will I leave you; nor will I ever forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). And that goes for you, as well as your child.
2. Rely on God's Promises
Once we know the truth of God’s Word, we can rely on it during times of uncertainty or times when we feel we should be doing something, but can’t.
3. Rally with Other Moms in Prayer
We all need moms around us to strengthen us. Join a moms group at a local church, a Moms in Prayer group at your child’s school, or find another mom and commit to praying together weekly for your children.
Can you recall a time when you wanted to rush in and rescue your child yet you found God did a much better job of it than you ever could have? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.
Learn more Christian parenting tips in 10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom.