For many women, this time of year brings back the familiar routine of waking children each morning to get them geared up for school. We have done the work to purchase the school supplies. We are beginning to return to the rhythm of evening practices for team sports. And of course, we are overseeing homework—or maybe we are in school and doing homework ourselves.
If you are like me, you might be wondering how it’s already that time of year again. Maybe you are trying to squeeze in as much as possible into the little time you have left each day to get it all done. In the throes of parenting and launching children into new seasons, this season points to every parent’s goal to equip their children for success in the days and months ahead.
Right now, I am doing the work of launching another kid from my home. That child is headed to college for the first time. I’m also sending another one of my children back to college. And yes, we still have one son at home. The last of our five children is entering into another year of homeschooling.
Being parented well and seeking to parent my children well has taught me that each season of transition for my children comes with its own unique set of challenges as they move into adulthood and head off to college. While I will always remain a point of authority in the lives of my children, in a new and fresh way, they get to exercise a level of authority and agency of their own.
Growing up is good.
I recall the days of taking my children to Target and footing the bill for all their school supplies as we made our way down the list of items to be purchased. Within reason, anything they needed and some of what they wanted, they were allowed to grab. However, as each of my children enter adulthood, there are certain things I no longer assume responsibility for. Besides the occasional, “Go ahead, throw it in the basket,” much of the responsibility, and accountability of what my children need and desire as young adults is now left to them. This is the goal of parenting. The goal is to help your children grow.
Growing up is good.
Parenting pockets another inherit gift. It helps us understand how God’s authority can play out in our lives. As they grow to live with a greater margin of freedom, they get to exercise dominion. In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let them rule.” Adam and Eve had to live within the bounds of Eden. Inasmuch as they had been given dominion over, there was still an area within the garden that existed to exemplify the authority of God.
As our children grow in their own knowledge of right and wrong, and morality of the world, they learn to exercise dominion in their world. They learn how to operate in their God-given authority.
In the same way, I get to support my children. I want them to learn what it is to exercise a new level of freedom while they are in college, to make good choices, and to develop what has been deposited within them. They can only enjoy this new authority to the degree they recognize my authority and provision in their lives in their earlier developmental seasons.
Yes, it’s true. I will ALWAYS be their mom no matter how old they get. However, it’s their job in their growing up process to accept the areas God has entrusted me to lead and guide them so they can later do the same in their relationship with their heavenly Father. In order to live a blessed life, they will have to honor the boundaries He gives in His Word.
In Christ we have been called to place every aspect of our lives under the delegated authority given to us by God. As we read His Word and learn His heart, we show deference to His authority through our obedience. As we depend on and trust in the power of His authority within us, we live assured that He will never cease being our Father and blessing us with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3).
No matter how old my children get, the beauty of motherhood is that I never cease to be their mom. Even as they launch into the world one by one, I will always love and guide them as needed. As they grow up and leave the nest, I pray they will learn to lean and depend on God for themselves. I also pray they will submit to His authority and walk in righteousness.
This is also how things work with you and me. No matter what, God will always be our Father. As we grow, we can learn to lean and depend on Him and live a blessed life as we submit to His authority and walk in righteousness.
He will always be there loving us and guiding us as needed. He loves us when we our spiritual babes.
And He is faithful to love us into spiritual adulthood.
Are you growing in your faith? Are you learning to walk in righteousness? Are you willing to submit to God’s authority?
Spend some time thinking about whether or not you are moving through the seasons of your faith. Commit to focus on your spiritual development and surrender to God’s authority in your life.
Growing up is good.
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