Having three adult daughters, I find watching their lives as a parent a wonderful pastime, but one not without its cares. Each is different to the other two. Each one looks for different things in their partners. And there are differences in their interests, too. As sisters they’re quite different, and that diversity is something to celebrate. As a parent those cares sometimes morph into concerns, but not because of who they are or for the decisions they make; it’s just the domain of the parent.
God has taught me something precious in my parenting over the past ten years or so, as they transitioned from girls into teens into young ladies.
Whilst the cares never abate, the joys I experience are lucid in simply letting them be.
The fact to accept is it’s their life. They’re different persons to me, with their own separate life experiences, together with life aspirations that I would always support but would not do, personally.
The point of parenting is not to bring up clones or to lead them in the way we, ourselves, would go, besides the values we’d like them to live by. But even with values, they’ll make their own choices. And it’s their choice whether they’ll depart from a value set they’ve been brought up with. It’s their prerogative to choose their own values. I certainly pray they make legal and moral decisions, but I accept that they won’t always make wise decisions. I haven’t.
These principles of leaving my daughters’ lives for them to live, but being there for whatever support they wish for from me, is equally applicable with all our relationships.
It’s not our life they’re living. It’s theirs. Aren’t we thankful that other people don’t get to lead our life and coerce us into the decisions only we can make?
Life is best when we make the decisions we wish to make. Being accountable for our decisions is the only wise way.
We live our life, they live theirs. Taking responsibility for our life, not others’, is the best way to live.