But he rejected the counsel of the elders and asked the young men he’d grown up with who were now currying his favor, “What do you think? 2 Chronicles 10:8 (MSG)
For the past two years, I’ve helped our daughters make the transition from living at home to being out on their own. The process of leaving the nest is a fascinating one. Given complete independence and autonomy, it’s interesting to watch the decision making process. Sometimes they listen and heed your wisdom. Sometimes, like Rehoboam, they defiantly choose their own way.
I’ve had to discover new levels of discernment as a father. When do you give unsolicited advice? When do you press for them to make the right decision, knowing that it will be best for them? When do you step back and let them make foolish choices, knowing that they will have to learn from the consequences?
I’ve done my best to bite my tongue when appropriate, and have resisted the urge to offer an “I told you so” when it would feel so satisfying to say it. I can thank my own parents who, I know realize, bit their tongues plenty of times as they watched my own foolish decisions and observed me ignore their advice.
And, even though I’m a parent I think about my never ending relationship with my Heavenly Father. Despite all of the wisdom I’m supposed to have at this point in the journey, how often do I still find myself ignoring the advice of God’s message and going it on my own?
Today, I’m conscious of my heeding the wisdom of God, my eternal Father – even as I continue my role of helping our children navigate their own fledgling paths.Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and pauldcocker