Monday, February 27, 2012

Parenting a College Student

Being a parent to a teenager while you are still in your 20's can bring it's own intense learning curves, but being a parent to a college student while still in your 20's (well, I technically turned 30 three weeks ago, but I'm in denial) is a whole different level. Now, let me throw in the fact that we adopted our son when he was 17. There are no parenting books that talk about what to do. There are hardly any parents we can go to asking advice. The only thing that has been a source of constant wisdom is The Bible and the still small voice within from The Spirit that guides and directs our actions.

Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

How do you train up a child in the way of the Lord when he comes to you at the age of 17 with his mind made up about who he is (not wanting to ever change)? How do you try and teach things that were supposed to be learned before the age of 5 to a 19 year old? How do you teach them to show "gratitude, respect, and how to ask" when you have modeled it time after time and they are still struggling? How do help someone heal from trauma that doesn't ever want to let their guard down? How do you know when the behavior is rooted in just being a teenager verses an adoption related issue??? 

Deep breaths, prayer, compassion, prayer, do-overs and more prayer!

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
1 John 3:16

I think adoption gives a whole new perspective on Christ's love. Parenting can be hard enough when that child came from your blood at birth. But when they come to you with scars that you can't heal, baggage that you can't help matter how hard you try!...parenting becomes a deeper kind of love. When Christ laid down His life for us, He did it even though He knew we were and would still be sinners! He did it even though He knew we would have moments of turning away from Him. 

We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19

God adopted us as His children with all of our flaws, scars, baggage and hurt. As adoptive parents, we have to remember the sacrificial love that Christ showed us...before we ever did anything! Being a parent is not about what you get out of it, but what you put into it, expecting nothing in return! If I don't see the harvest at first, I know that God only calls me to plant the seed and to continue trying to show His love. He will water and He will nurture that seed. As a parent I am called to follow Him first and He will take care of the rest. 

Somehow, the burden becomes lighter knowing God is in control!

And we know that all things work together for good to those
who love God, to those who are the called
according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

1 comment:

  1. Truthful and impactful Word from the Lord! Take courage that who He choses to be parents He does equip through the Holy Spirit! We may not see the answer right away but He guides us to the left or right as in Isaiah 30:21. Praying you both feel His strength and direction!The Sittig's love your family Greatly!