Someone has been teaching my children to think for themselves, to search for truth and not just blindly accept ideas just because some authority says so.
...Oh, wait, that was me....
When I began homeschooling about six thousand years ago, one of my heart-felt convictions was that I wanted my children to know how to THINK independently.
I taught them to show honor and submit to authority, but also I wanted them to wrestle through the tough questions and challenge weak logic so that after the wrestling, the convictions that remained would be unshakable.
Beware of what you wish for.
Here's the thing...(cringe)...
I always kind of assumed that their convictions would end up matching mine--because I'm right.
My idea was that they would wrestle and search and get all grown-up and independent in their thinking and then come to the very deeply-held conviction that Mommy Knows Best. (I do, you know.)
Imagine my frustration, then, the first time my beloved child--a child I carried in my womb for months, nursed, potty-trained, nurtured and poured truth into---had the audacity to disagree with me.
It started when my oldest was about 14 years old, but back then I was the mom and I could still "say so." She didn't have to agree with me, but she had to obey me.
We're entering new territory now.
My oldest is now 19--an adult in the eyes of the law--with two siblings close behind her. If she wants, she can get a tattoo and there's nothing (legal) I can do about it.
She has legal grounds for saying, "You're not the boss of me!" (To her credit, she is wise enough NOT to say it...)
I can't even talk to the health insurance company to clear up a claim without her consent because "she's an adult." (Yeah, whatever... who pays the premiums?)
It's a bit unnerving, this loss of authority.
I raised my kids right--or as right as I knew how.
I encouraged them to think biblically and then taught them to do it.
I challenged their thinking when I thought it was faulty, and I instructed them to challenge mine when it contradicted the truth of the Bible.
I urged them to form their own values and convictions and hold them tightly.
I have to release them to live by their convictions.
When their convictions match mine, it's a beautiful and exciting thing to behold.
When they don't, it's annoying.
In some cases it's even terrifying--because I realize that part of releasing them to live their convictions means allowing them to experience the full effect of the consequences of those beliefs.
What I really need to release is this notion that I have control, that their destiny is my responsibility.
It never was.
God gave me a job to do, but their lives are in His hands. I need to release them not to themselves, but to Him.
They may mess up...just like I did.
Even in moments when they can't be trusted, He can.
Didn't He use even my gravest sins to bring me closer to Him?
Maybe I need to remember that the Father Knows Best.