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Controlling Parents

Perhaps the biggest targets of the control-accusation are moms and dads.

That cuts both ways. It’s been my experience that many parents actually were absent in one way or another. Some were workaholics, adulterers, relentlessly absent with social activities or even church work.

On the other hand, some were hard-drivers, particularly in the area of education. Often, that affected the amount of free time that the child would have. For many children, that works well. For the ones that have a hard time with stringent homework monitoring and other “control,” they can check-out through addictions, fears, rebellion or simply drifting into a peer-driven subculture.

Parents are raised by parents. These values, cultural preferences and strengths and weaknesses all play into how they feel the character of their children should be formed. The kids might learn a different way of seeing the world through teachers, playmates and friends and the now ever-presence of social media and entertainment.

Fighting against this tide, a parent could easily react by trying to dominate. What’s a mother to do? We’ll leave that to parenting seminars where they will probably counsel that molding a child’s center must start very young and they will learn to respect the parents’ values - even if they disagree with some or most of them.

The larger lesson in control is in the metaphor of a target. The parents intrinsically or subconsciously have an idea of the bull’s eye for their kids’ hearts.

It would do well for youths and even adult children to remember that their parents were trying to hit the center of the target without doing it for them. For those that held their bows or leaned over their shoulders too much, there is something called forgiveness.

But there is also something called thankfulness. It goes a long way to ridding ourselves of the control-accusation.

PORTAL TO HEAVEN: Adam and Eve bought the lie that their Father was controlling. Parents mess up all of the time. But in many cases, we start our own families with some values, perhaps a wedding and even a diploma. These things are not exactly controlled-substances.

For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God's discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness…The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Hebrews 121:10 (NLT), Proverbs 9:10 (NIV)


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