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Dear mom, I know you wish you could leave your regrets behind.
You should have spent more time reading Dr. Seuss and Goodnight Moon.
You should have been a stay-at-home mom
You should have spoken softer (as in – not yelled)
You should have made them stick with piano
You should have let them quit piano
You should have home schooled
You should have put them back in school
You should have considered their feelings more
You should have listened more
You should have prayed more
You should have been a better role model
You should have…STOP!!!!
Stop the “should haves”.
I actually have a friend whose husband tells her, to stop “shoulding”!
But how can I stop when the “SHOULD HAVES” constantly roll around in the back of my mind?
Come with me, my little friend. Let’s experience a fresh outlook together.
Dear mom of grown children: leave regret behind. Advice on ditching the guilt. Click To Tweet
How to leave regrets behind
1. Accept the fact that God was in your movements
Psalm 139 says that even if I make my bed in hell, God remains with me – the worst of times, as well as the best.
When you tried to do your best, yet failed at times, God was still there taking up the slack. I realize that now that mine are grown. I hear evidence in their recollections of my words or actions that resulted a spiritual impact on them.
That wasn’t me – that was ALL God. Whether you believe it or not, God is still in charge of everything, not you!
He was there when you rocked those babies, there when you disciplined them, there when you yelled, and there when you thought you couldn’t take one more temper tantrum.
God was in the movements of your day.
‘He hath done all things well’ (Mark 7:37). God can take nothing and make something out of it. God can take your mistakes and polish those mistakes.” ~A.W. Tozer, The Attributes of God, Vol. 2
2. Realize your kids are responsible for their actions
Let’s face it – our children are individuals with distinctive temperaments and wills of their own. They will make bad decisions, just as we did. They will live and learn – just as we did.
They may even spend a season in sin – just as
we some of us did.
We simply cannot control their flaws. It’s hard enough controlling our own!
At some point, we have to let this go and stop blaming ourselves for their faults. Yes, we were flawed parents.
Who were also raised by flawed parents.
But God is the God of second chances, and He is in the process of making new creations!
Father, may _________ (your child) be confident that You began a good work in his (or her) life and that You will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
Remember, we were flawed parents, raised by flawed parents. There are no perfect parents. Click To Tweet
3. Stand on the promise of forgiveness from God’s Word
Maybe they’re throwing their faults back onto you. OUCH.
Perhaps they are the ones who can’t let go. There are no simple solutions, especially if you have guilt. But the Jesus laid out a pattern for restitution and forgiveness in Matthew 18.
Seek to make things right; ask forgiveness and show genuine regret. If you’ve done everything you can to make restitution, the ball is now in their court.
You simply can do nothing more. God forgives you. Whether or not your child forgives now rests with them.
Accept your forgiveness from God and keep moving forward in His Word and freedom.
Forgetting what lies behind, and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 3:13b-14
Leave your regrets behind
God does not desire a life of bondage for the believer, and living with guilt and regret is exactly that.
Consider all you did right in the lives of your children. Choose to see the good instead of the ugly. If you need to make restitution, speak with your child, make it right with God, and walk in His light daily.
Today, KNOW that Christ the Intercessor appears in the presence of God for you! Hebrews 7:25 says that He ever lives to make intercession for us. Even when we don’t know what to pray. (Romans 8:26)
Do you catch yourself worrying over your adult children? Lying in your bed at night, concerned for their safety? Texting them first thing in the morning to allay your fears?
I’ve done it too.
Will they make sound choices?
With whom is she spending time?
Are they riding with safe drivers?
Where is he sleeping this weekend?
What are the safety conditions at her place of employment?
If you grapple with worry over your kids and their choices, my guest post on Satisfaction Through Christ, 5 Comforting Scriptures to pray over your adult children, is crafted for you. Parents of adults are finding great comfort in the Scripture prayers offered there, and I urge you to click over to read and receive comfort.
I’m with you, empty nesting mama. Let’s link arms, pray for one another, and cling to the rich promises of God’s Word! As always, you can reach me here.
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