Oh the frustrating and rewarding times of being the parent of a tweener. It doesn’t help that our oldest is six feet tall at only 11 years of age. But he has the desire to be his own person. Well, he has the desire to be an adult part of the time-NOT when it comes to hygiene, cooking his own food, doing his own laundry, etc. I get it. You probably do as well. We were all there once, trying to figure out our way through this world. Trying to figure out which group of friends to spend more time with; what activities, if any, are we going to be a part of; what are our interests; wanting to tackle things on our own without mom and dad’s help; but still wanting to be in the family, taken care of and catered to. And it’s just awkward.
For me as a day, it to is a struggle. I want to continue to parent how I always have because I don’t want to see him hurt, disappointed, made fun of or friendless. And yet, I also know that I need for him to grow his own wings, fall down and figure out how to get back up, make friends on his own terms and figure out who he is. It’s all part of life. But, he has a desire to become independent, just like I was starting to at his age.
Last week I started a several post series. I wrote about how we have the freedom to chose what we want to do. And, at times, God gives us over to those desires. But at a cost. The cost of relationship. And here, we can see that break happen in our relationship.
Independence helps build our self confidence, self esteem, helps us to grow thicker skin and mature. But we have a very mixed definition of independence, especially here in America. It seems to me that we have equated independence with isolation. We’ve built walls around us (metaphorically) that keep people from getting too close so that we won’t get hurt again. And we call that independence. But it’s not. It’s isolationism. And it’s not what God had ever intended.
God desires dependence. Sure, He has created us each uniquely, yet in His image. He empowers us with His Spirit to use the gifts He’s given us for His glory. But He doesn’t want us to go it alone, and definitely doesn’t want us to isolate ourselves. He is the God of Adam and Eve, woman and man, the Body of Christ, the Church. He desires us to be dependent on each other. And at the center of that dependence, is God. He desires that we are dependent on Him.
Being confident in ourselves is not the opposite of dependence on Christ. Being confident in ourselves is having confidence in how God made us, how God has wired us and that God can work through us. We can be self confident and God dependent in the same moment. And we can also be independent of the way of the world and the way the world works. None of these equal isolation, yet we so quickly go there. My hope and prayer is that we become more dependent on Him each day, more confident in who we are in Him, more independent of the things that hold us to this world and less isolated from everyone.
be blessed today