Our wounds come in different forms. From physical abuse to physical illness. From emotional abuse to emotional illness. We are sometimes wounded from spouses, family members, co-workers, and even church members. We can experience a variety of wounds we need to work through on a daily basis. But one wound that may overwhelm us is the wound and hopelessness of seeing a child walk an unhealthy path. The pain of seeing a child sway from the Lord cuts deep.
The biblical child Manasseh took the throne at age twelve after his father Hezekiah passed away. Hezekiah is one who called out to the Lord, had a relationship with God, and whom God healed. Surely his twelve year old son saw his father’s accomplishments and leadership.
But as Manasseh grew in his kingship, he turned from God and his father’s teaching. Did Hephzipah grieve over her son falling so far away from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? What mother wouldn't?
Just how far did her son (Manasseh) turn?
He rebuilt pagan shrines his father destroyed
Constructed altars for Baal
Set up an Asherah pole
Built these pagan altars in the Lord’s Temple
Bowed down and worshiped pagan gods
Sacrificed his own son in the fire
Practiced sorcery and divination
Consulted mediums and psychics
Murdered innocent people
Made his people worship false gods
Can we compare Manasseh’s behavior to the behavior of children in today’s world who have turned away from God? Children, young and adult, who practice witchcraft, Paganism, Wiccan, and so much more? Who lie, steal, and murder? Who are influenced by gangs, drugs, and alcohol?
Every mother and father who has had to watch the pain of their child struggling understands the impact the child’s behavior has upon them – they understand the wound. Though some parents work hard to speak into their child’s life, and even set good examples, sometimes their children turn away from their teaching - just like Manasseh. Their children make choices and decisions that impact themselves and others.
Sadly Manasseh lived out his days doing more evil in the eyes of the Lord - never changing. However that doesn't mean your child will continue to live in the pit of darkness and sin.
What can a parent do to overcome such wounding? We all need to find healthy ways to work through our pain and wounding. For parents struggling with children who struggle - here are a few things you may want to try:
1. Take it to God - Before bitterness settles into the crevices of your heart, take it to God. Take it to God no matter what stage you're in. This should always be step one.
2. Never stop Praying - Keep knocking on the door my friend. One time on your knees does not free you from the burden or your child from their situation.
3. Never Give Up - Never give up on you as a parent or your child. Don't fall deep into despair over what you think was a lack of parenting on your part. Perhaps mistakes were made but move forward into healing - allow God to minister, touch, and restore you as a child of God and parent. Never give up on your child. God hasn't given up on His desire to restore your child to his/her purpose and calling.
Aside from prayer and looking for opportunities to speak into your child’s life, I came across a few must see sites.
9 Tips for Parenting Troubled Teens
Focus on the Family/ The Hidden Traps of Wicca
Believe the best can happen and that God wants the best for you, your child, and your family.