Every teen and young adult goes through a season when they try to establish their own identity. Some may do this by distancing themselves from their parents’ tastes and preferences. But what do you do when your son or daughter rejects your faith and embraces beliefs or behaviors that you know could be harmful?
Rejection brings pain, especially when the son or daughter you’ve poured your life into walks away from everything you care about or transfers their loyalty. But even if you did everything perfectly, your child can choose to rebel.
You may be thinking “They don’t listen to me. Everything I say seems to make matters worse. What’s the point in trying?” But don’t throw in the towel. Stay engaged as much as possible by being available, writing brief cards, calling, sending text messages, etc. Your efforts may go unacknowledged for some time, but they still serve as deposits for the future by saying “I will always love you and be here when you are ready.”
The greatest influence you can have on your son or daughter is to reflect both God’s grace and truth (John 1:14). It can be difficult modeling both – especially when dealing with prodigal children. Your child’s story is not finished yet. Stay engaged by balancing grace and truth while anticipating a new chapter in your wayward child’s life.