Brothers and sisters of following the morning star:
Hello! Recently I have a particularly tense relationship with my son. As he grows older, the generation gap between us has been becoming greater and greater. Now, my son has just been a middle school student. I’m afraid that he will delay his studies because of playing computer games, and that he will be absorbed in puppy love and go astray, so I often watch him. In order to keep him from getting into bad habits, I also check his smartphone to see if there is some unhealthy information. Unexpectedly, after he knew about this thing, he got particularly angry and revolted, and he asked me what I controlled him for. His words made me extremely sad. I think I’m his mother so I should educate him. Don’t I do this for his own good? Why does he not understand me? Because of this thing, he doesn’t speak to me for several days. I feel much distressed. I came before the Lord to pray to Him, but I couldn’t feel Him by my side no matter how I prayed. Just when I didn’t know what to do, a sister in the Lord recommended you to me. She said you often helped her solve some difficulties. Therefore, I sent this letter to you so as to receive your help.
Distressed Mi Nan
Sister Mi Nan:
Hello! Thank you for putting your trust in us. Actually, it is God’s words that can help brothers and sisters and resolve their problems. We also hope to do our utmost to spread more of God’s words and to allow brothers and sisters to obtain help from God’s words.
Through your problems, we can see that you have lived in Satan’s harm, so you feel pained and worried and don’t know what to do. In fact, managing well the relationship between mother and son isn’t as difficult as we have imagined. We only need to have a grasp of a few principles, and then we will find the generation gap between mother and son can be bridged.
First: Entrust Your Child to God’s Hands
Nowadays, the evil trends of society spread, public morals deteriorate, and lawlessness can be seen everywhere. Under such circumstances, it is rational that you are afraid your son will learn to do ill. Nonetheless, we should be aware that God is our sole reliance. Only God can save us from Satan’s harm and trickery and protect us from being enticed and swallowed by Satan, while we ourselves are incapable. Though externally it is we who have our children brought up, whether they behave properly or not and what path they take can’t be decided or arranged by us. Just as the story of Joseph recorded in, when he was sold to Egypt alone, he was only a 17-year-old child (see Genesis 37:2). He was far away from his father Jacob and eleven brothers and enslaved in Egypt. Later, he was even wrongly accused and put into prison. However, Jehovah God was with him. God not only protected and led him, but bestowed exceptional wisdom upon him. In the end, he interpreted dreams for the Egyptian Pharaoh and became governor over Egypt. He prepared for seven years of famine in advance, and finally was loved by people. Without a doubt, Joseph could grow up safely and be successful, which was because God guided and protected him by his side silently, just as the Bible says, “He that believes on him shall not be confounded” (1 Peter 2:6). From Joseph’s experience of growth, we can see God rules everyone’s fate. You can completely give your child to God and He will surely be in full charge of him.
Second: Learn to Let Go and Give Your Child the Freedom He Needs
Although our children are forever children in our eyes, as they grow older, they are also changing. Gradually, the child increases his knowledge and enriches his thoughts, and also begins to establish his own philosophy. He has his personal hobbies and pursuits, and bit by bit he has his own cognition and judgment about all sorts of things. At this time, what he needs is greater independence and the room to develop. Meanwhile, he needs his parents to accompany and supervise him, but not to control him. If we are sure of nothing and want to control everything, then we’ll only bring our children pressure and constraints. This will also affect our relationship with children, just as God’s words say, “Parents raise their children from infancy to adulthood, nagging them and looking after them throughout. How do parents see time? Whether twenty or thirty years later, their attitude toward their children is the same as when they were born, it doesn’t change. The child has, in fact, long since grown up, he’s long since established his own way of thinking, state of mind, insight, and viewpoints—he’s long since had these things—yet the adults never realize this, they can never keep up, they always talk and interact with the child as if he’d just been born. … In particular, parents always treat their children like slaves, or else spoil them, overindulge them, and dote on them like a kitten or a puppy, whilst holding them tight, keeping a tight rein on them, strictly controlling them—with the result that the child stops being a child, and being a parent becomes very tiring. ” (“What Should One Possess, at the Very Least, to Have Normal Humanity”). God’s words speak clearly about the awkward relationship between our children and us. Why is there always a generation gap between our children and us? This is because unknowingly the child has grown up and he begins to have his own thoughts and viewpoints; nevertheless, we still treat him as the baby carried in our arms every day, so he will certainly resist us. We don’t know the law of growth that God preordains, so the situation between parents and children is just like God’s words reveal, “The child stops being a child, and being a parent becomes very tiring.” As a matter of fact, as long as we can see clearly the fact that our children have grown up, we won’t always use our notions to examine them, and neither will we make ourselves tired nor make them pained. The child is just like a flying kite. We want to see it fly into the sky but also fear that it is far away from us, so we want to let it go but cannot bear to do so all the time. At the moment, we should know a fact clearly: The child will certainly grow up. If we want to control him firmly in our hands, at last we will harm ourselves and him. Hence, we should learn to let go and give him free space to grow up.
Third: Let Go of a Mother’s Status and Equally Get On With Your Child
In education of children, we always hear a parent say, “I’m your mom (I’m your dad)! You should listen to me! That I do these things is all for your own good.” Much of the time it is just this kind of forceful control that makes children become more distant from us. Actually, this attitude of control does not accord with. God created us, but He doesn’t demand forcibly that we listen to Him like this, nor does He say if we don’t practice according to His words, He will do something to us. God is supreme yet humble and hidden, and doesn’t force us to listen to Him. What’s more, He gives us the free space to make a choice. Then, both we and our children are creations, and have an equal status. How can we ask our children to listen to us? We are always in our position as parents to control them forcibly. This is foolish behavior and it is the thing that children disgust the most. If we can solve this problem, then we’ll get on with children normally. How should we resolve it? God’s words say, “Actually it’s simple. Just be an ordinary person: Treat your children, treat those in your own family the same as you would an ordinary brother or sister. Although you have a responsibility, a fleshly relationship, nevertheless the position and perspective you should have is the same as with friends or ordinary brothers and sisters. That is, you can’t control, you can’t restrain your children, and always try to keep in command and have complete control over them. Let them make mistakes, let them say the wrong things, let them do childish and immature things, do stupid things. No matter what happens, sit down and calmly talk with them, communicate and seek. Don’t you think this attitude is good? Isn’t it right? So, what is being let go here? (Position and pride.) It is the letting go of the position and status of a parent, the airs of a parent, and all of the responsibility one thinks they should assume, everything that one thinks they should be doing as a parent; instead, it’s enough that one does the best they can in terms of their responsibility as an ordinary brother or sister” (“What Should One Possess, at the Very Least, to Have Normal Humanity”). God’s words show us the path to solving the problem. That is, we should put aside the position and status of a parent, treat our children equally according to God’s requirements, and lead them to come before God and to become ones who seek to know God and are able to worship God. Finally, we parents and our children all live before God, and live by the word of God in everything. No matter what happens to us, we all quiet our heart, sit together calmly, openly communicate with each other about issues that arise, and seek the truth to solve the problem. Only by this kind of practice will we not have any difficulties in getting along with our children, and God’s blessings and guidance will be often with us.
In fact, the relationships among people are all particularly tense now. There are no normal relationships between individuals and even between nations. This is all because we are corrupted by Satan and don’t have the truth. The only way to solve this problem is to come before God, pursue the truth, transform our own corrupt disposition, and live by God’s words in all things. Only then can we solve this problem starting from the source.
Sister Mi Nan, we hope our communication can resolve your difficulties. Finally may God lead and bless you! Also may your relationship with your son be restored to normal early under God’s guidance. We hope you no longer feel painful or gloomy. All the glory be to our Father in heaven. Amen!
Following the Morning Star
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