When I graduated from college (Central Michigan University), I packed up my 1978 blue Mustang with as much stuff as I could get in it. I then drove from my hometown of Fraser, Michigan (literally a 4-square mile town) and drove to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was 22, starry-eyed in-love, and had a job waiting for me (sort-of) when I arrived. The details of it were a little bit sketchy, but great big adventure was waiting for me, and the love of my life lived there (some of the time). And so I went.
As as parent, I never would have let that young girl do that without asking some questions:
- Where will you live? (Answer: In Philadelphia – the city of brotherly love – In a big house with 10 or 11 other people)
- Who will be there to help you? (Not sure about that one)
- What kind of job is it — really? (Well, office work for a traveling ministry)
- How much will you be paid? (Maybe $75 a week – if there’s money to pay me each week)
- Is anyone going to travel with you? (No, Just me and the wide open road)
- How in the world will you make it? (Oh my gosh, I have no idea!)
These seem like reasonable questions (and crazy answers) — don’t you think?
I wish someone would have asked me these questions and then given me some good advice on how I might be more successful if I choose to take this road.
I appeared confident. It looked like I had a plan. It seemed that I knew what I was doing. Truth be told, I was scared.
Parents, do not be afraid to ask your kids the hard questions. Ask, even when they seem to have all the answers. Make sure they know you are so interested in their good that you will do whatever it takes to be satisfied yourself in their decisions. They need you to care enough to do that.
I took that 450 mile ride 34 years ago this month. It worked out. I married the man of my dreams and followed after God with everything within me. We made it. If I had to do it all over again, I would ask for more parental partnership, good advice, and additional wisdom.
You have confidence in your kids. Let them know they can have confidence in you too.