How today’s personal choices affect tomorrow’s parenting relationships
The stranded driver thanked the officer for his help, shook his hand, and jumped off the bridge. Adrenaline rushing, the officer scrambled to peer over the edge as cars whizzed past, horns blaring. Unbelief at the incredulity of the situation caused him to stumble at the site below.
Minutes earlier, the officer helped the man retrieve his keys inside his locked vehicle, using a crowbar to open the passenger door. The man seemed thankful and courteous.
There was no way of knowing his plans.
Apparently, he thought there was no way out.
Why we toy with jumping
How close are you to the edge today, mama? What plans are you contemplating that could possibly not only alter your destiny, but that of your family?
Are you all smiles on the outside, seemingly in control and happy, while inside, turmoil mounts as you long for sweet escape?
I’m not talking about drastic actions so much as I’m referring to little steps of careless choices – shuffling closer to the edge.
I once received an email from a mom who grappled with guilt over her adult son’s choices. She regretted making certain personal decisions while rearing him, and felt that created a domino effect.
Choices she may not have made, had she realized the long-term impact; Wishing she had chosen wisdom over immediate self-gratification.
Memories flooded my mind’s eye of poor choices made in early rearing years – regret tinged my soul, threatening to spill out my eyeballs.
Choices that are either unwise or blatantly against God’s will play a profound role on our children. At the time, we believe the Enemy’s lies:
No one will notice.
You deserve this.
You’re the one who’s suffering.
You can make it up later.
We take one step, and then another, traveling down precarious paths to gain the happiness we “deserve”.
And one day, it comes back to haunt us.
Moms tire. We need relief. We’re slaves to our homes, our children, our husbands, even our pets.
When do we get to play?
When faced with difficulty, what will be your answer? When at a crossroads, which path will you choose?
Will you tragically assume there’s no way out? Or will you back away from the edge and retrieve your car keys (and the family)?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. Hebrews 12:1,3, ESV
Consequences of jumping
Choosing our own way over waiting on God:
1.) Takes us deeper than we’d planned
2.) Is hard to get untangled
3.) Leaves regret
4.) Finds us answering to our children later in life
5.) Teaches lessons much better learned through obedience
Years later, difficult conversations will transpire – conversations you’ll wish weren’t necessary. There are better ways of handling your decisions. Christ died that we might live – not jump!
But – if you have jumped (as the mom writer above), know this: God makes everything beautiful in His time. He still wants to use you. He came to the down-and-outers for a reason! Christ was born in a stable; angels appeared to shepherds out of darkness.
Here’s what I told the grieving mom:
I’m so thankful for God’s grace and mercy. He is so patient with us through the years. He knows our frailty and is always ready and willing to work with us cracked pots! ;) I know you’re beating yourself up for the behavior of your youth. I do it too.
But when the Enemy whispers his lies, I pray God’s truths. And I choose to believe them.
Dear mom, if you are perched on the edge of a steep precipice, about to take the plunge, allow me to grab you from behind and jerk you back to reality.
God is ready, willing, and able to save you. But you must be ready with your faith.
Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. ~Unknown
The driver that jumped had a colored past. He’d tried to change and failed so many times that he felt ending his life was his only option.
How very sad to willingly choose a dead-end street when life is so freely offered – and abundantly!
Christ is casting the lifeline to you today. The very fact that you’re reading this is evidence He’s guiding you. Won’t you grasp it now and allow Him to drag you through the murky waters back to safety and His best plan?
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Ruthie Gray is a wife, mom of four, Gigi, and caregiver, living in the sandwich generation and blogging to keep her sanity. When she’s not snacking on plastic drumsticks with her grandson (The Tiny Tornado), or snuggling his sister (Baby Cakes), you can find her coaching other moms on how to capture joy while raising kids at her blog, RearReleaseRegroup.com . Ruthie is also the author of Count to Nine; 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Frustration and Anger. You can connect with Ruthie on Facebook.