When a Child is Heading in a Negative Direction
Joyce today as we have a candid conversation. I know that there are parents watching right now whose hearts are breaking because their Children are going a path that they don’t want them to go. Um there’s nothing worse than the heartbreak of a child. That’s, that’s when we hurt so much. So as a parent, did you ever face a time like that where your your Children were going away? Oh no, my four kids were perfect, that’s a pretty good deal there. I actually had issues with three out of my four Children and I had one that was a perfectionist and so she, I tried really, really, really hard to do everything just right. However, she did have a temper because she would get mad at herself when she didn’t do things right and uh but you never knew she was mad at herself, you know, it was just anger, it was just anger and of course she’s mature now and teaching the word herself and has gotten beyond all that. But I know that most parents are familiar with the scripture that you train up a child in the way they should go and when they’re old and we don’t know how old they have to be when they’re old, they will not depart from it. And so that’s a great scripture to hold on to when your kids are in trouble and of course I’m going to say something that everybody’s gonna think well duh, but pray for your kids, there’s so much power in prayer and I just, I told you earlier in the last two years, I just realized that more than ever before, that there’s so many things that we worry about and fred over and try to make happen ourselves, try to talk people into doing and just pray pray and trust God because he can do in a moment what we can’t do in a lifetime and be positive, especially like if you’re praying for your Children, then don’t go sit down with a friend and talk about how bad everything is now. I mean, you can tell them the truth, but you can do it in a positive way that, you know, I’ve prayed and I believe God is working and you know right now, I could use prayer in this area or this area, but I don’t don’t negate your own prayers by saying the opposite of what you’ve prayed. Now let me ask you about that because I completely agree with you. Absolutely. It’s good. It would be bad if we disagree here online. I mean, not only could be an interesting show, but that’s not what we’re gonna do today. Um, but when you’re in a position where you’re seeing evidence of the opposite and you’re you’re seeing your Children, I have someone that I love right now who’s going through just a such a difficult time and just a grip that this child cannot seem to break away from and sometimes it’s years and you’re not seeing that happen so you continue to stand on that word, How do you not let go, how you know, how how do you keep trusting when you’re not well that’s a good point. You don’t let go of the promise, but you do let go of what you have to. So what do you hold on to and what do you let go of? Well, there’s a scripture, I think it’s in first Thessalonians that says as long as we’re believing God is working and that’s become very important to me because when when we get a breakthrough, that’s not when God started working and especially when you’re praying for other people, you have their will to contend with. And God is not going to force anybody to do anything, he will deal with them. He’ll send people their way to speak to him. He’ll show them different things. You know, they’ll feel the weight of the consequences of what they’re doing, but he won’t make anybody do anything. And so one of the things that’s kind of interesting is sometimes when you start praying for somebody, they’ll act worse instead of better. And if you’re not careful, you can just throw your faith away right then and think, well that didn’t do any good, but that’s almost like a sign that God is working because you know when God’s dealing with you, when he’s convicting you of something in your life? Sometimes that’ll make you act yeah, people fight back worse worse than better. And so I’ve just learned to say especially when I feel like well this isn’t doing any good or this is not working. I will say out loud if I’m in a place where I can, God is working in this situation and I will see the results of it in due time. That’s good. I love what you said that God isn’t just working. When you see the answer, he’s been working all along, how do you know as a parent, how to respond to a child in need, do you rescue? Do you let them suffer some consequences? Well I think that it depends on the child, it depends on the situation as far as how long you wait to just back off and let them suffer the consequences. But obviously any parent is going to start out by trying to talk to their child. Yeah, well we want to fix the problems rarely does that work. But sometimes it might, you know, but let’s just assume that it doesn’t work. And so then you know the thing is if you keep trying to talk them into it, keep trying to talk them into it, keep trying to talk them into it. They just get to the point where they tune you out and then that makes you even matter or sometimes it can even make them worse. So we have to be sensitive about when do I back off and when do I keep at it? So you when it’s obvious you see that what you’re doing is not working then you you pray you know you pray that God will make the changes. I pray very often that God will send the Perfect Laborer when I’m praying for somebody who’s not saved or somebody who’s lost their way I will pray not necessarily for God to use me because I may not be the person he can use but for God to send the Perfect Laborer into their path that can speak a word in due season, you know sometimes the same thing can be said to somebody 100 times and they don’t get it and then all of a sudden if it’s the right time right it’s like that doesn’t it aggravate you when Somebody comes home with this great revelation about something that you’ve told them 300 times and they never got it like that’s what I’ve been saying. Yeah it’s so hard to just be happy and not trying to say, I tried to tell you that you know Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah and so but I do believe there comes a time when we’re not helping by trying to help and you always continue to pray but sometimes you have to back off and just not rescue the child from whatever it is they’re getting themselves into and I shared with you that my oldest oldest son who’s now in charge of our missions outreach here so he too has grown past his issues. He when he was a teenager, he was speeding one night in his car and he got pulled over by the police except when they tried to pull him over, he didn’t pull over, he foolishly tried to run from him and so he’s speeding, you know, trying to get away from them and and he ended up in jail and so he called us and they’ve had to go down and get him out of jail now, Dave never threatened our kids without following through. And so my kids knew if Dave said something, he meant business with me, it was a little bit, you know, because I would sometimes say something in anger like you’re not going out of this house for six months and then the next day I think wait a minute, that’s gonna be more punishment for me than them and uh so maybe I’d keep them in three days and then say well you know bob let him out, but if Dave said something, it was going to happen, it was gonna happen. And so he told our son, he said I’ve come here tonight to get you out of jail, but I want to tell you if you ever do this again, you will spend the night there and maybe a few days because I’m not gonna do it and that was the last time he got in jail and it, I know it’s hard if you have a child that’s addicted to drugs. I know it’s hard if you have a child that, you know, whatever hanging out with the wrong kind of people making wrong decisions, it’s hard to just back off and let God teach them something. But that that’s the thing about free choices, every choice you make comes with a consequence and if God’s not going to deliver us from our consequences, then we should not be so quick to try to deliver everybody else from theirs and you want to be merciful, you want to try to help people. I’m not at all saying not to help your kids or I’m not even saying don’t don’t rescue them, but there’s a time, you know, when you just, you’re not, you’re you’re enabling them if you continue to do that. And so, you know, Children change, they grow up, they change. And if you have a teenager right now, if somebody has a teenager that just seems like there, I mean, I remember two of my kids in particular, I thought how are you ever gonna leave home and make it on your own. One of my, one of my daughters was just so disorganized and so undisciplined now, it’s hilarious because she takes care of me, she keeps my life organized, she takes care of my bills and so that’s totally turned around. So she she is so, I mean Dave and I just marvel because she is so organized now and you ask her to do something and then it’s done. She used to procrastinate, She’s not like that anymore. It’s just so there’s hope for everybody. It’s amazing what God can do. And she told me that the change came for her when she got married, moved out of the house and it was all on her then let me ask you this because I had, I had a friend who went through a particularly difficult time with a child and she, my friend had a lot of shame and guilt. How does a parent, of course they’re hurting because of what that child is going through. But how does a parent not take on the entire weight of decisions that their child makes? I think the only way you can do it is to be trusting God and trusting his principles enough to know that if God tells you don’t rescue them again, that you need to be obedient to that because God’s showing you something you need to do to eventually help see them set free and um both of my sons gave me issues in different ways. And now the two of them manage the day to day business here of the ministry. One of them is ceo over all the me and buildings and you know everything that goes on. And then the other one is head of our missions and so you know, I just really want to encourage people today to not, not just look at what is, but look at what can be and expect it be full of hope. And I mean, even I really believe in the power of of declaring things that are in the word of God out loud. David said, I declared the decree, well, a decree is something written down and to declare it means you open your mouth and you say something and so confessing the word of God out loud over your life and over your Children, your future is extremely powerful because words have creative power. They can be full of good power or bad power, but they do have power. And so you do want to be careful how you and I said this before, but you want to be careful how you talk about your Children. If you’re praying for them to change, you don’t want to talk about them like they’re never gonna change and always gonna stay the way that they are. And here again before we close this, you’ve got to understand that they won’t depart from it when they’re old. That could be, You know, when a 16 year old is 21 and it could be when he’s 51, you have to just sometimes you have to keep believing something for a long, long, long, long time. I believe for my father’s salvation for over 30 years and I didn’t pray about it every single day, but when it would come to my heart, I would, I would pray for him. And I mean, it looked like he was never going to give his heart to the Lord. He was so hard hearted and so just downright mean and but he did. He eventually gave his heart to the Lord and asked us to baptize him and and uh he really changed, you know, he was, he only lived three years after he accepted christ so he still wasted his life. But I know that he’s in heaven now and so please don’t give up hope on your kids and don’t, don’t tell them they’re hopeless and you’re never going to amount to anything and you’re never going to change. You know, just tell them, I believe in you and I believe that you are going to change and you’re going to have a good life and plant good thoughts in them too. Keeping in mind that they probably already feel bad enough about the way their lives turned out, even though they don’t act like it, that doesn’t mean that they don’t. And then lastly, I’d like to say, make sure that you don’t tell your kids to do something that you’re not doing in your own life, make sure that you’re not just giving them words, but you’re giving them a living example to pattern yourself after and I know this is hard, but don’t ruin your life over somebody else’s bad choice. It’s not going to help you, it’s not going to help them and it’s certainly not going to bring joy to jesus. After all, he’s done for us. Great advice. Thank you. Thank you.