Yesterday's post got me thinking about parenting fears. Whether you experience pregnancy fears, fears that God might think you can handle more than you think possible; or, pre-pregnancy fears, worrying you might not have enough money, be too selfish to raise a child, etc; early childhood fears, like my son eating a cashew and going into anaphylactic shock; or even thinking about them becoming adult fears, fears that you're raising them to be adults and how they will turn out, if you're doing everything right, etc. If you're one of the fortunate that never feared anything, kudos. But I think the majority of us will see that at some point fear will creep in.
Besides the obvious fear I have about my son stopping breathing, I am afraid I am screwing my kids up. I am afraid I am giving them too much, or maybe it's not enough? I am afraid that I send my children to time out too often and they will grow up resenting me for it. I am afraid that I am not consistent enough. I am afraid that I will raise hooligans. I am afraid that my eldest will be picked on if he, as a male, is unable to participate in sports due to his allergies (not determined yet). I'm afraid...
Enter my husband. He is the definition of don't sweat the small stuff. Something I love and hate at the same time ;) He reminds me that I can't control many things so it's best to let it go. How can you not worry about that? I might ask him. He replies that it isn't important; we're doing our best. Okay, you're right, but ugh, that isn't what I wanted to hear.
My kids need me to be warriors for them. I'm not talking about shield and sword in a literal sense, though if it ever came to that you bet I would be at the front line to protect them. Rather, I am talking about a prayer warrior. Because let's be honest, there is only so much I can control.
In my prayer life I pray that my kids will grow up to men of God. I pray my sons are able to learn how to have healthy relationships with girls. I pray every day that all of their relationships (both girls and guys) will be positive ones, and if they're not, that there is something they can learn from them. I pray they won't do anything they may later regret. I pray they will stay pure until marriage. I pray they won't be gay or gothic. I pray they won't have severe learning disorders or severe mental health disorders. I pray they won't get trapped in any addictions. And I pray God will guide me (and my husband) as their example. I pray that we're encouraging them in positive directions. And I pray for peace because above all else I want my kids to know that I love them. I will always love them. I never want them to think that I will love them any less because of a failed relationship. I will never love them any less if they slip up in a relationship, or if they do anything they later regret. I will certainly not love them any less if they are gothic, have a learning disability, are gay, or a severe mental disorder, or if they get trapped in an addiction. And I pray that I am never so closed minded that they would feel uncomfortable being honest with me.
Because no matter how my sons turn out, I hope they always know one thing. I love them. I. will. always. love. them. NO. MATTER. WHAT.
Readers: What's on your heart today? How are you raising your children to adults? What are your adulthood fears?