Monday, June 05, 2017

"Letting Go of Kids is Hard to Do"

1st Chronicles 7:20a, 21b-22 NKJV

The sons of Ephraim were Shuthelah,… Ezer and Elead. The men of Gath who were born in that land killed them because they came down to take away their cattle. Then Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brethren came to comfort him.”

Nemo and Dory appear clueless. Bruce looks hungry. www.disney.com

Six of children obtained driver’s licenses, and one has a learner’s permit. I am barking orders at Rachel from the front passenger seat, just like I did with every other teenage driver in my family. It was very scary for me, and still is! My older children eventually earned the privilege to drive all by themselves. I handed over the keys and watched nervously as each new driver backed out of the driveway alone for the first time alone. I thought the same thing all six times: “That’s the last time I’ll see her [or him] alive.” Letting go of kids is hard for me to do.

In the 2003 Disney-Pixar movie “Finding Nemo”, Marlin, a clown fish, loses his wife and children to a hungry barracuda. Only Marlin and his unborn son Nemo survived the attack. Nemo hatches to become a wonderful, adventure-seeking young fish but his father Marlin suffers as an overprotective single parent. He unwittingly drives Nemo to take chances he shouldn’t. Letting go of Nemo was hard for Marlin to do.

Marlin looks worried. www.disney.comAbout a decade or so ago, I wrote down a conversation I had with God. I entitled it “The Daily Prayers of a Selfish Man.” There were nine mini-prayers, some of which I am too embarrassed to publicly record. Top on the prayer list was a request that “all of my children outlive me.” Nothing strikes terror in my heart like the possibility of losing one of my kids. This fear is not diminished by the fact that most of them have grown to adulthood and have children of their own. I have several friends who have lost children. I cannot imagine their pain. I hope I never have to.

Ephraim lost two of his sons, Ezer and Elead. They behaved like most young men do… stupidly. Other than to prove their manhood, there was no reason for Ezer and Elead to go down to Gath on a mission to rustle cattle from the Philistines. Machismo cost them their lives and caused unimaginable grief for their father. Ephraim let go of his sons and lost them. Terrible things like this can happen.

Marlin nearly lost Nemo but learned his lesson. After they were reunited, Marlin encouraged his only son to “go have an adventure.” He eventually learned to let go. 

Letting go of our children as they grow to adulthood is risky. They can be lost. Left on their own, they might take chances you and I would certainly discourage. They could even hurt themselves and cause us serious suffering and grief. Letting go of our children is hard to do... and right to do. 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post. You have expressed the fears of a father's heart so well.

Dave Scriven said...

Thank you, Anonymous.