To discipline a child produces wisdom (v.15).
Seven years ago, she stayed after Bible study to
talk about her struggles as a mom. With a child
nearing preadolescence, she was torn between
making decisions that would make her daughter feel
different than her peers and wanting the young girl to “fit
in” to avoid the social ostracism of her own teen years.
Today her daughter “fits in” a little too well. Beautiful and
talented, she’s dating the “cool” guy who is charismatic and
popular. She’s got it all. Everything, that is, but her virginity.
Having ministered to youth for many years, my husband
and I have observed a lot about parenting from the
outside. Still in the trenches with our own two children,
we’re far from having all the answers. Sadly though,
we’ve had front row seats to a few situations where
parents have relinquished their responsibility to protect
their child in exchange for the vicarious affirmation they
receive through the teen’s acceptance by others.
Before we can make truly selfless decisions for our
children, we have to go head to head with our own
insecurities. If we see things through our own scars, we
may be tempted to overlook an issue that needs to be
addressed. For we’re caught up in the fact that our child
has gained something (or someone) we didn’t have.
In Proverbs 29, Solomon reminds us of the biblical
principle that godly shepherding isn’t always comfortable
and painless (John 10:12-15). It often requires that we
risk the ire of those we love by giving them the “wisdom” (Proverbs 29:15) and
“guidance” (v.18) that will preserve their physical, emotional, and spiritual
Let’s remember the purpose and privilege we’ve been given to lead others,
as a parent or otherwise—to see them grow in Christlikeness. Leading requires
clear, not clouded, vision.
What are some of the insecurities you faced as a teenager? How
can you use the painful things you experienced to help you make wise
decisions about your children?