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Heather Hart

What I Hope They Know Before They Go

| July 17, 2017

Parenting Future Adults: 3 Facts I Hope They Know Before Leaving Home

My son is officially a high schooler. He will be a freshman this coming school year, but I already see it. He’s friends with all the lifeguards at the pool. Random high school guys (and girls) talk to him.

He took a practice test for his driving permit today. And he passed. He is ready to take drivers’s ed so he can get his license next year.

My mama heart isn’t ready for that yet. It’s like just yesterday he was my baby. Of course, he would never appreciate me saying that (it will be our little secret, okay?)

Years ago, someone told me that I shouldn’t be raising children, but parenting future adults. Yes, it’s good to let kids be kids, but while they are being kids, we should be equipping them for the future. Back then, when my oldest was 5, that future seemed so far away. Now here I am with a man-child on my hands.

He’s taller than me.

He’s talking about life after high school (which he hasn’t even really been to yet).

As a mom, it’s awesome watching our kids grow. Enjoying them when they’re small, and standing back as they spread their wings… even when it’s hard to do.

I have a lot of friends and family that have poured into me as I’ve been a mother over the years. Many of them already have children that are grown and gone. I’ve seen the delight and despair they have been through after their children have left home, and it’s made me wonder about what the next stage of life will bring. What do I want my children to leave my home with? My time to instill that in them is fleeting.

3 Things I Hope My Kids Know Before Leaving Home

#1.) Jesus

Jesus is a must. I want them going out into the world sure of their salvation. With a firm knowledge that Jesus is going with them and that they will never be alone. That when life falls to apart, God is still good.

I want them to leave home with a relationship with Jesus. Solid in their understanding of the gospel and how it relates to real life.

#2.) My Love For Them Is Unconditional

Parenting Future Adults: 3 Lessons I Hope My Kids Learn Before Leaving Home

Whether my kids succeed or fail. Whether they are bag boys at the local grocery store or the president of the United States, nothing they do could change my love for them. I will always be in their corner; their biggest fan.

I hope they know that. We never know what tomorrow will bring. I may not live to see tomorrow, but I hope I’ve shown them throughout the years that I love them and am proud of them. We have so many struggles in life, I hope they never have to doubt my love for them. I hope they never feel like they have to earn it. Because just as God’s love for us is unearned and unconditional, so is my love for them.

#3.) All People Are Created Equal

I hope my kids leave home knowing that while I will love them no matter what, they are no better than anyone else. God made everyone and every single human being is valuable. We are all different. We will have different areas of strength, just as we all have our own weaknesses.

If everyone was a CEO, who would be the engineers? If we were all plumbers, who would ring up our groceries. Our jobs don’t define us, and they don’t define others. That single mom in the trailer park is just as worthy of our love as the stay-at-home mom in the mansion on the hill.

Just as I love my kids unconditionally, I hope they will love others the same way.

I hope their treatment of others will be a reflection of Jesus’ love for us.

But What If…

Those would be my top three. There are other things I hope I have instilled in my children, but those are the ones I hope they really grasp.

But what if they don’t get those?

What if I’ve failed at this whole motherhood thing? I’ll be honest, it will be rough. But I will still be able to face tomorrow because of Jesus. That’s another thing another mom told me way back when.

“Jesus can save our children despite our best efforts and failures.”

Their salvation isn’t hinging on our parenting skills. Jesus is their savior, not us. There’s freedom in that knowledge.

Yes, I want to do everything I can to help my kids become great adults, but I know that in the end, who they are is rooted in Christ, not me. And if that relationship isn’t solid, it’s not too late. God has a plan for their lives, and it might involve a bumpy road.

Truth be told, all of our lives involve bumpy roads at some point, so I am guaranteed the same will be true for my children (John 16:33). I don’t know where the bumps will be, or what they’ll be. I can’t predict the damage they’ll do. But I can trust that Jesus is bigger.

Are You Parenting Future Adults?

If you have already raised your children, do you have any advice for us younger moms? Or, if you are still in the throes of motherhood like I am, what are you focusing on? What do you hope you will instill in your children? Let us know in the comments below!

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