Holly T. Ashley

OH! DID I TYPE THAT OUT LOUD?

Testing the limits…

This morning I received a phone call from a friend… It’s actually a recurring phone call, conversation and/or discussion I find myself involved in- with many moms of today. If I am not counseling them about it, I am reading about it.

Setting limits on the behaviors of our adult children.

Although I have had issues with my children, they are what I call normal parent-child issues – you know the ones… your daughter turns 15 and transforms into a door-slamming, eye rolling recluse that would prefer to live in her bedroom than have any type of a conversation with you… because you don’t know anything! Until she turns 21, has a daughter of her own…  then you might know something about raising fussy little babies and changing dirty diapers… but not much… it depends on what grandma has to say.

And then there’s my son… we’ll he looks like my son… but once he turned 18 he quit acting like my sweet, good-hearted Christ-centered boy. He seemed to loose touch with reality not to mention forget just exactly who he was talking to when he chose that particular tone to “tell” me his opinion on my role of a mother…

Unfortunately for my friend, her situation was much worse than mine. Her son spent little time at home and more time in police custody.

I have another mom like this as well. Her son began burglarizing homes before he was a teenager.

Both of these women came from homes where Jesus was preached, teached (taught) and sought after – they tried to raise their children the same way, but circumstances and outside influences made them doubt who they were in Christ, so they gave in and compromised their godly intuition for some really, really bad advice.

As a counselor I have seen this over and over and over – as a single mother, I battled the same battle with those “well-meaning” family and friends who had a “better way” of raising my children. So I get it.

When I worked in facilities for teen girls, I heard it all. The chronic run-a-ways, teen pregnancy, the juvenile delinquents – not to mention the sexual and physical abuse, these were girls with real issues- not girls that came from Christ-centered, God-fearing homes…

But as far as behavioral issues go – there is no difference.

These children could be the typical brats that mine were or the delinquents that we read about in the news… No matter what- one thing remains the same –

Bad behavior is NOT allowed.

Period.

I have heard all the stories and have come to realize that there is another coming – no one is worse than the other and there is one that is worse that I will hear tomorrow.

I have been held at knife point, gun point and held hostage.

It doesn’t matter to me what your story is. There will be consequences for your bad behavior.

God demands it and so do I.

But most importantly – So should YOU!

It is called limits, boundaries, forcing another person to take responsibility for their behavior, actions, attitudes, and feelings.

It’s a grown up thing to do. Its teaching responsibility and no matter what – it is never to late to start teaching – nor is it too late to start learning!

Everyone has to grow up sometime – Now is as good of a time as any!

The advice I give to my moms, is: There comes a time whereby we must put our trust in Jesus and move out of His way. We must trust that, if we indeed have the seal of the Spirit in us, then God will do as He promises… but He will not compete with us.

Our children are little sinners – as much as we want to believe they are little angels who haven’t received their wings – let me remind you of a little truth… Angels don’t have wings and they are not fat little babies sitting on clouds.

They are mighty men – not women – warriors for God almighty who fight spiritual battles each and every moment of every day.

So get over it. You’re kids are like mine and everyone else’s… Hell on wheels, until Jesus gets a hold of their heart.

So get out of His way, get on your knees and pray.

Be the mighty prayer warrior He has called you to be and let Him do the heavy lifting of an unregenerate heart.

The Bible says we are to trust in Him, not ourselves. We are to “Commit our way to the Lord, trust in Him, AND HE WILL ACT.” (Ps. 37) – But He won’t compete. That entire passage is about moving out of God’s way – and trusting in Him to do what He does best – We are to feed on faithfulness – that is the literal translation.

So as my friend was telling me of the story of how her son had gotten himself into a jam once again and she was driving to meet up with him, she asked me for advice… silly, silly girl…

So I gave it.

“Turn the car around,” I said.

She went on to tell me how she “didn’t need this…”

“Turn the car around.” I repeated.

“I know God won’t give me more than I can handle,” she misquoted…..

I quickly corrected her – “Don’t take it out of context.”

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it,” (1 Cor. 10:13).

Where that particular verse is concerned, the Bible is referring to temptation – So much so that it is mentioned THREE times!

“Are you being tempted to bail your kid out? Turn the car around.”

If it’s not temptation, but persecution (of your biblical mothering) that you are referring to by way of family and “friends” then you mean the persecution of your steadfast faith… and in that case, He will push you to the point of a lion’s den, a fiery furnace, hanging upside down on a cross, imprisonment, slashes with a cat of 9 tales, shipwrecks, imprisonment, blindness… even beheading….

So are you going to be faithful to Him or give in to the pressure of the world and their crappy advice?

We need to turn the car around.

We need to stop enabling bad behavior and quit pretending that we are super mom and all is fantastic.

Because it’s not.

Our kids are out of control little unsaved people that have no direction – except for what you give them.

Our children, young, intermediate and as adults, need our love, empathy and prayers – all packaged up within the boundaries that scripture has set forth.

What they don’t need are our excuses, frustrations and co-dependent permission slips to remain little children who are out of control.

At some point or another your children need to grow up. And frankly, so do we, as parents.

My daughter was born three years after my son. My son adored that child. She would point and he would run to go and get anything that she asked for.

If he upset her, there were plenty of adults around, usually my mother, who would scold him and tell him, “Look at that face,” as they pointed out my manipulative daughter’s pouty face….

She didn’t walk until she was almost two!

Why would she?

She had learned that all she had to do was point, throw a fit or stick her lower lip out as far as she could and someone would be right there to take care of it.

I finally had to put the brakes on everyone! I had to put an end to my daughter’s manipulation, my son’s confusion and my parent’s interference and I had to be the parent.

Well, that ticked everybody off!

Unfortunately, not much has changed.

My children are now adults, my daughter with a two year old of her own and my son a recent graduate in his mid-twenties from Texas State with an engineering degree.

Both have done exactly what they have set out to do.

Smart little brats, they are… but not intelligent. Certainly not wise.

Neither one of them follow Jesus.

My son is still being manipulated by my parents and my daughter still believes that the world is here to serve her.

“For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing – he deceives himself” (Gale 6:3).

The difference is that now, as adults, if that is their choice for living, they are entitled to that way of life and all of the consequences that go along with it. They are also the soul responsible party for their choices.

I get to love them. That includes an office full of scriptures, books and Bible verses I have prayed into and over my children for all of their 20 something years…

They also know the boundaries – There are periods of time that we don’t speak because their choice of vernacular or tone has consequences.

I am still the mom.

Whether or not they feel I deserve that respect or not is irrelevant. The Bible says I do, therefore I demand it.

See, a world out of God’s order is a world of chaos, but we can put the pieces of our own little worlds in order, one role at a time-

If parents would simply take back the reigns and be parents. If Men would simply lead their families… and if wives would be Biblical women… the world would indeed change for the better.

It is my prayer that we find our way as Christians and quit letting the world tell us how to raise our children or what the sinners all “feel” is the best route for our nation… Quit demanding that a teacher “teach” your child anything about life – That the Sunday School teacher or preacher teach them about Jesus, or that our government legislate their morality – that’s your job! Be a responsible parent. Take a stand for what you believe in and own it.

When my son was eighteen years old – he knew how to manipulate my empathy. He understood that I held a tremendous amount of guilt regarding the alcoholic I was married to… But what he didn’t realize was that I too had, had enough.

So, when he decided that he was going to threaten me about moving out, leaving me to fend for myself so he could run off and joining the Coast Guard… I offered to help him pack because his ship was setting sail that night.

“From now on, let no one cause me trouble! For I bear on my body the marks of Jesus” (Gal. 6:17).

The time has come. Set your limit.

#raisethebar #hollytashley #pastorofpump

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This entry was posted on September 10, 2015 by in Call to Action, Children and tagged , , , , , .
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