“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12 NIV
Is it possible that we think of ourselves more highly than we should?
As I watched the previews for newly released movies about families dealing with addiction, I recognize the faces of parents desperate to save their children. Panicked mothers and fathers, played by larger-than-life Hollywood actors, go to the most extreme measures to rescue them, often to the detriment of their own health and the well-being of the rest of the family. Some of these portrayals, while heroic, send the message that if parents say the right words and take the right actions, they can somehow save their self-destructive children and live happily ever after.
If Only It Were That Easy.
Our children become addicted to drugs or alcohol for a variety of reasons. A few may say that childhood abuse or trauma and trying to mask the pain eventually led to them taking drugs. Some did so because of growing up under strict rules they ultimately rebelled against. However, that seems to be the minority. I have literally spoken with hundreds of parents and adult children who battled addiction, and for the most part, the message is the same. “It was not my parent’s fault. They were great parents. They loved me and taught me right from wrong.”
Without fail, I also hear parents take credit for the success of their children with statements like, “We raised them right,” as though parents whose kids failed to succeed or worse yet, failed, hadn’t read the manual. Parents are so invested in their adult children’s success and failure that many fall into the categories of helicopter-parents, drone-parents, or the newest one, snowplow-parents. The line between the parent and their adult child seems to have become blurred. It’s as though we are looking at one being, not two separate individuals.
While it is imperative that while they are young children and teenagers, it is our role to nurture and guide them as they grow into adulthood, there comes a time when we have to put these lessons we have taught them to the test. They are adults now, whether we see them that way or not.Read More