Mothers and Daughters

I have raised 2 daughters and 2 sons. It is difficult to raise both. I do think mothers and daughters have particular tensions, partly because the bond is so close, trying to achieve independence is tougher. When a daughter needs and wants to be independent, but is very close to her mother, she almost has to start a fight to give herself the courage to pull away. Otherwise the fear of loss is too great.

My girls gave me a lot of trouble when they were teens. One was very emotional, and in her disagreements would shout and slam doors. My husband had to fix the door frame more than once. The other one was devious and would sneak and lie. All I could do was pray greatly, share all I could about what was good and right and godly, set limits with consequences and follow through. I shared my own faith and was honest about my own struggles. One continued to go to church with me twice a week clear through college. The other, not so much. Ironically, the one who went to church with me and with whom I shared the most is now the one who has no Christian fellowship at all, and is not very close with our family. The other, has grown closer to me over the years, and is a devout follower of Jesus. Was it me, in either case?

I struggled with my own guilt for years, until I realized I was giving myself too much power and too much credit. God is very much in control of all our lives, including our children’s lives. Our children are also very much in control of their decisions from the teen years forward. We can teach but we can’t control. I think if we are obedient to Jesus, as parents, doing all we know He has asked of us, and if we are faithful to pray for our children, it will work out in the end. Proverbs says: “Raise up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) It also helps me to remember the “When he is old” part. Even though I have not seen one of my girls living for Jesus as an adult, He is not through yet. There’s more to the plans Jesus has for her.

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