Have you every wondered why sometimes you feel so guilty and it isn't even your fault? Well, I guess I should personalize it, but then someone would think that I'm speaking personally - and I'm not.
Recently I was having a discussion with a friend about her son. He was making and had made some bad decisions. She was feeling guilty. Like she was to blame and it was all her fault and "if only" she had been a better mom, or taught them more, better or earlier or if she had not done yadda yadda ...
You get the picture. The truth is, she was a good mama. She gave her love and attention and training to her children. She was not perfect - none of us are. We all make mistakes and have regrets. But... God can cover those mistakes if we trust Him and ask Him.
I felt so badly for her. I tried to tell her that while they were under her roof and she was paying the bills, then she was responsible for them and their actions - AND she had a say so in what they did or didn't do. Once they left her home, they were then responsible for their own actions. They had to pay the piper themselves. It was no longer up to her.
Sometimes as parents, we may not approve of or appreciate or like what our children do or don't do. We can voice our feelings (and we should do so in love and respect). But, we have to understand that it is no longer up to us.
They will suffer the consequences themselves. We would LOVE to prevent and stop their hurting. But, I realized that I grew up when I faced the music for my decisions. We grow in the hard times. We need to allow the children to grow and develop strength and character.
It is important to keep the lines of communication open so that when they need us, we are there to love.
I told her that it is a hard lesson to learn as a parent. It is painful. But, it is also very freeing when we realize that we don't have to feel guilty for our children and what they do or don't do. It is important not to let their behavior determine our behavior.... or think it is a reflection on who we are or have been as parents.
I hope she heard me. I hope she applies it. She was feeling unnecessarily guilty. It is normal to feel that, but we are above "normal". Besides, it harms the relationships. It keeps us in bondage and them too. (if she didn't, then I can't feel guilty or bad - I can just love her anyway!)
(Because we don't feel guilt does not mean that we do not hurt for them - we just remove ourselves from the responsibility.)
... the other emotions it evokes? pride, anger, hurt, unforgiveness, frustration, confusion, pain, strife.... just to name a few.
Those are not worthy of entering into a family relationship of love, respect and honor!
I want to reiterate that this is not about me and my family lest someone takes it that way and I feel guilty...