When parents and children disagree

Children are a wonderful blessing! How exciting it is to hold a little baby and imagine the person they will become along with all the great things they will experience and accomplish.

When children are young, they are subjected to the influences of their parents and then advancing beyond the formative years, they begin to explore and absorb what everyone else has to say about everything. In this process of comparing how they have been raised with all of the new information they are gathering, it’s only a matter of time until they begin to form their own opinions and worldviews about what is right and wrong.

Often, these ideas and belief systems are different from their parents and is an agonizing disappointment as moms and dads watch their child evolve into someone they never imagined. Yes, we realize that no one has all the answers and we also might as well face the reality that children will not always go the way we thought they would.

So, what can parents do that are facing this situation? We can start with accepting that we cannot change what anyone believes and this includes our beloved child. To present this statement in an even more sobering perspective, we can ask ourselves, is it possible that anyone could change what we believe? Probably not.

So, once we understand the guidelines of the situation, we can move forward. When we pray, we know that trusting God is acknowledging that He is the only one who has the power to transform someone’s thinking. Along with this fervent commitment to intercede, I must include something just as important. There is a huge difference between asking God to make someone believe like we do and asking Him to open their eyes to the truth. You see, if we are just wanting a “mini me” we are missing the point. Having someone who believes exactly like us might make us feel good, but what if we are wrong?

In some clans we notice that politics, religion, and social issues are not a big deal while in other families these topics consistently dominate the conversation. After an exhaustive exploration, some young adults will accept and approve their parent’s views while others will conclude their parents are either not intellectually able or willing to research the subject thus hindering their understanding. Often, the child attempts to explain their newly discovered persuasions, only to encounter intense attitudes of displeasure and rejection. In these cases, it’s common to have both sides praying for each other that God will open eyes and hearts. Sometimes the parents are right and sometimes the next generation is right but nonetheless, it’s important to remember that

God’s love is what binds us together far beyond our convictions and interpretations. What we believe is who we are and learning how to get along with someone when you strongly disagree with them is challenging to say the least, but if we desire to have a meaningful relationship with them, it is also necessary. Since Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, we will discover more unity and agreement when we humbly listen and learn from Him.

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