Growing Up
by Johnny Markham, College Hills Family Minister

One of the most difficult things parents ever have to do is to learn how to let go. 

I am learning that letting go is just part of growing up; for my kids and for me.  I'm beginning to understand that I have to continue to grow up just like my kids do, and that the only way we can fully realize what is yet to come is to be able and willing to let go of what we have now.  To be able to experience tomorrow,
I have to let go of yesterday.  This will enable me to really live today.

I see parents going through this process every year as their kids graduate from high school, go to college, graduate from college, get jobs, and get married. I have observed many healthy families over the years and it seems that the best parents know when to squeeze and hold on to their kids tight and when to let them go. These wise parents enable and encourage their kids into that next adventure that awaits them. 

Our job as parents is to prepare our kids to leave us, not to be dependent on us. It's a lot like the mama bird nudging and pushing the baby bird out of the nest. When we do this well, we send young, confident, prepared disciples into a great adventure; into the glorious unknown; into all that God has in store for them. We give our kids roots and wings. There comes the time for them to absorb the strength of those roots, spread their wings, and fly.

The goal of parenting is to equip and enable children to grow and embark on an exciting journey of faith. It is a journey in which, from the day our kids are born, we parents begin the process of letting go. It is a process that continues through all of the stages of their childhood and adolescence, so that when the time comes, they will be able to fly on their own.  This is not always an easy process for the parent or the child, but this is life.
This is growing up.   




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