Parenting Help

Will I Ever Be Satisfied? 

Will I Ever Be Satisfied?

I wrote the following article after my wife and I moved our older daughter, Annie, into her dorm for her first year of college and her first year away from home.

My wife and I recently experienced one of the most difficult tasks I ever faced. We packed our van and drove to Texas with our two daughters. After a few hot and sticky days, only our younger daughter returned home with my wife and me. We left our older daughter, Annie, to start a new adventure—college. On the long drive home, I was flooded with memories of my little girl. I kept choking back the tears as I thought of all the good times and all the hard times that encompass a parent’s life. It was so hard to let go.

Not only was it hard to let go of the past, I was also concerned for Annie’s future. Research shows more than 70 percent of children raised by Christian parents don’t live for Jesus once they leave home. Now that Annie left home, will she become a part of the victorious 30 percent who are living for Jesus? Or will she go with the flow of the other 70 percent? My wife and I spent nearly eighteen years teaching her how to think, not just what to think. Was it enough? There’s so much more I want to teach her, but she’s gone. Now we must wait and see if she learned enough to handle the world out there.

In my head I realize I shouldn’t worry so much. Annie has known Jesus as her personal Savior since she was four. She has a heart for the needy. She’s been involved in church activities all her life. She’s been an A student since kindergarten at one of the best Christian schools in the nation. She always had tons of wonderful friends and was always a friend to the friendless. This girl isn’t the life of the party, she is the party. Who could ask for more? She is an ideal, well-balanced young woman. Why am I still so concerned?

At this point I asked myself, “Will I ever be satisfied?” She’s living for Jesus. Yes. But I wanted more for her. Deep down, I am satisfied with both my daughters, but I often act as if I’m not. I want to continually offer them advice and correction, but if I did, they would avoid me. Think about it. Do you like being with someone who constantly corrects and instructs you? We tend to avoid someone like that, don’t we? And I don’t want my daughters avoiding me.

I’ve always said if parents spend more time talking to their children about concerns than they spend talking to the Lord about their children, their priorities are out of kilter. It was time to see if I could live what I teach. I took my concerns to a higher authority and committed my daughters to prayer.

Actually I always prayed deeply and frequently for my daughters. Just because Annie is away from home, this is not the time to quit praying. If anything, she needs my encouragement and prayers more than ever.

So I continue to pray for both my daughters every day. My wife and I did all we could when Annie was in our care. My little girl has always been completely in His hands, but now it really hit home.

How about you, parents? Are your children still at home? Do you spend more time talking to the Lord about your kids than you spend talking to your kids about your concerns? If your kids are living away from home, have you increased your prayer time? Are you fully committed to the idea that the most effective way you can encourage their spiritual maturity is to go to God constantly in prayer? Even after they leave home, they are still your children, and they will always need your prayers.

You just read the first section of this chapter. The complete chapter including the Reflection, Response, Scripture, and Application is one of 30 chapters from Al’s new book RECONNECT: When your kids are connected to everything but you. Find out how to order your own copy.

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Al Menconi

Al Menconi founded Al Menconi Ministries in 1982. Since that time, Al has spoken to more than a million people about entertainment and its influences. He has written numerous books and articles on the subject and provides free help for parents on his web site Al and his wife Janice have two grown daughters and reside in Carlsbad, CA.

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