Read Proverbs 10:1
1 A wise child brings joy to a father;
a foolish child brings grief to a mother. (NLT)
Not much to argue about in this proverb. Don’t worry too much about the distinction between mother and father: this is the way Hebrews wrote. Wise children bring joy to both parents and foolish children bring grief. Any parent knows this. The underlying issue is that we can’t dictate whether our children will be wise or foolish, whether we will have joy or grief.
Hear what the writer John White says about parenting: “We are to relinquish our children. We forgo the right to be proud, the right to domestic tranquillity, the right to have our children make us happy, the right to our respectability, the right to be repaid for all our parenting. Relinquishment means you surrender your delusion that you can control their lives. God has placed the child’s destiny in the child’s hands, not your own.”
That writer was speaking from personal experience: a wise and godly Christian psychologist unable to guarantee a wise child would bring joy and instead was wounded by a foolish child bringing grief. Most parents will have their own fair quota of joy and grief.
Perhaps parents need to realise that we can only do what we can: we can’t do everything for our children or make their decisions for them. We are to give them love and all the security we can muster. But in the end we have to let them go. Love is not control. As has been said, loving our children means giving them both roots and wings.
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