Part One of Three Parts: MollyCoddlers
It was a typical beautiful spring day and the spirit of puppy love was in the air. A young 13 year old boy and girl sat outside on a lawn swing. The boy held a single rose and lifted it toward the girl. Before she could take possession, the girl’s father stood up from behind the swing and pointed a leaf blower at the young man’s face and squeezed the trigger. The humiliated boy left with nothing left but the stem of the once existent rose. The young lady angrily folded her arms and screamed at him, “Da-a-a-ad!”
As a father, I can relate to this father’s action. I say, “Hey! That’s my baby girl.” The previous scene is nothing more than the product of an advertising agent’s imagination, but it triggered many memories of each one of my kids. Like the aforementioned dad, I no doubt provoked each one of my kids at one time or the other in their life, albeit maybe differently. You don’t believe me, ask any one of them how I probably brought them to wrath in my exuberance to protect them as a dad.
v4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord [Ephesians 6:4 KJV].
You’ll have to ask them as to whether I was a good dad or not. However, the only justice and redemption that I have to my actions, as a father, is that most of my kids are now parents (Install a Happy Face here, lol). The old adage apparently holds true, what goes around, comes around. We spend at least 18 years raising, loving, feeding, housing, clothing, nurturing, and protecting our kids from everything and everyone that would do them harm.
We do our best to teach them our values, our beliefs, the differences between right and wrong, and bring them up in the admonition of the Lord. It is that love and investment in our children that creates a major struggle for most parents in letting go of their kids after they leave home. To this I can attest and plead guilty. Does our love stop after they’re gone from the roost? In a word, no!. To wit, my kids have been pretty good about allowing me a certain amount of latitude and deceleration of my dad mode. They’ve allowed me to be dad on a number of occasions.
We teach our kids to be self-sufficient and when they finally do become self-sufficient and leave the nest, it feels like they do not need us anymore. I wore many hats as a dad: parent, protector, teacher, nurturer, counselor, provider, and even a referee’s hat. Then they left. . .and I lost all my hats and most of my influence. I am very proud of all my kids and who they’ve become, but the outside world continues to hammer them.
Now that they are all gone away from the nest, what will I do with all this residual love that I have in my heart for them? For in my heart, I’m not finished being a dad yet. (My youngest has kids who have kids. Yep, I’m a great grandpa. Where did I leave my cane?) Anyway, I’ll always remember each of their births, their first steps, their first boo boos, and all their graduations. I still want to rush to their aid every time they are in trouble. I’m used to protecting and caring for them. I’ve had at least 24 years of practice since the last one left home. Lord, help me in my need.
When the kids were young, I could monitor their every moment, control their environment, and guard against any harm that would befall them. Now that we no longer control their environment, where they go, what they do, and who they let influence them, why are so many parents struggling, including me, with letting them go?
Has anyone looked outside lately or turned on the TV at all? The world is a very nasty and scary place. For one, there is a group of extremists that are beheading, stabbing, drowning, torturing, and shooting thousands of Christians to death all over the world for no other reason than that of being a Christian . If that isn’t bad enough, there are the daily crimes and mayhem of murder, rape, corruption, pornography, persecution, and drugs. Do we even have to ask for the reason of our struggle?
At the heart of our reluctance in letting go of our adult kids , is obviously the spirit of fear. This spirit can bind us up  if we allow it to happen. It really tests our faith. I know that it has tested mine. I am the consummate mollycoddler.
Next week in the second of three segments of Letting Our Adult Kids Go, we will go over the issue of faith and see if the Bible can help us with any solutions. Any dads out there have a story?
 Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 5:45. Matthew 24:21. It is the times in which we live.
 They’ll always be our kids.
 2 Timothy 1:7