Our kids have a deep-seated desire to be independent, don’t they? From an early age, our children are bound and determined to exercise their will and exert their independence. They long for their own Independence Day.
I remember the feeling after my parents dropped me off at college. It wasn’t long before I called my dad and told him I wanted to come home. Never spending the night anywhere except with family, I felt completely alone, despite my aunt living only 10 minutes away. I sure wish I used that to my advantage.
What I didn’t have was a relationship with God. I was an adult (the law even said so) and I needed to figure everything out for myself.
pin it for later
Countdown to Independence
Bug is about to turn 16. She is counting down until she is 18 – until the day she is no longer dependent on us. She is wanting to leave as soon as she can and go as far away as she can. That girl came out of the womb ready to be gone.
Had the doctor in the delivery room handed her the scissors, I am sure she would have cut her own umbilical cord.
Some days, I’m already holding back tears about the day I’ll help her move her most prized possessions from my house to her own. When she does become independent, all I can pray is that she doesn’t become dependent on herself – but places her dependence on God.
A Child’s Independence Day
In a sense, I think Bug longs to break free from (what she believes is) tyrannical authority. Mr. B and I have been telling our Bigs for years that we want to give them all the freedom they desire.
But as parents, it is irresponsible to give them independence without them owning the responsibility of it. Part of the reason why Mr. B and I changed the way we shop with the big kids for clothes.
At some point, independence is overwhelming.
After all, if we could always rely on ourselves, there would be no need for God. And he is too loving to allow us to live a life without him.
In John 15:5, Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
The vine is what provides the nutrients to the branches so that they may live. In the same way, Jesus provides us with the life-giving nutrients so we may have life and have it to the full. (John 10:10)
3 simple Reasons you should raise dependent kids
1. Growing in dependence on God keeps their lives stable.
We don’t want our children’s lives to crumble and fall into chaos because the center of their universe is themselves.
It is best to teach them now how to fall gracefully and get back up again. But they can’t always rely on themselves. When everything around them seems like it is falling apart (and let’s face it, it will fall apart at some point), only God will remain the stable center of their universe.
2. Growing in dependence on God grows their maturity.
It’s so difficult to let our kids go, isn’t it? How ironic though!
Bug is only a year away from graduation and making her own decisions. And then I’ve got the little ones. Little Buddy is in diapers and I get so excited thinking about the day I get to stop wiping their butts. But then I find it difficult sometimes to let Bug and Bubba do things on their own for fear that they will make a mess.
What a disservice if I don’t give them some freedom to make their messes and learn from them!
To use the diaper analogy, I can either grow my kids up to wipe their own butts or wind up helping them clean up the disastrous explosive mess because they don’t know how to take care of things themselves. After the last 5 1/2 years of changing diapers, I’m done cleaning up explosive messes.
3. Growing in dependence on God teaches them to glorify God.
I won’t lie. If one day I hear my kids say what a great mom I was and how I helped them to become the person they are, I would get so caught up in my feelings I don’t think there would be enough tissues for all the snotty ugly cry that would ensue.
But through the next generations, my greatness wouldn’t be so great.
Now, the greatness and glory of God! That kind of greatness has lasted for thousands of years. And doesn’t lose it’s intensity as the generations go on talking about him.
Any glory given to humans will one day begin to fade. But the glory of God will always last and it’s his glory that has the eternal reward.