One Step at a Time

Let us…go on to maturity.
Hebrews 6:1

Our teenage daughter had taken the proper course work, passed the state driver’s test, and was already a responsible young lady. Yet the first time Danae drove off in our car alone, it was still a frightening moment for Mom and Dad! There is no sweeter sound than hearing your teen come to a complete, controlled stop in the driveway after her first solo trip in the family car.

By the teen years, however, parents should already be used to the idea of granting new responsibilities and freedoms to their kids. That vital process should begin at a pace consistent with their age and maturity during the preschool years. When your child can tie his shoes, let him. When he can choose his own clothes within reason, allow him to make his own selections. When he can walk safely to school, grant him that privilege. If responsibility and freedom are meted out gradually throughout childhood, the final release in early adulthood will be much smoother for you and your kids.

David became the king of Israel, but the Lord prepared him for the responsibility of leading His people in stages—first as a shepherd boy, then in battle against Goliath, then as a commander of soldiers in the army of Saul (1 Samuel 16:11; 17:49; 18:13). Likewise, we must prepare our sons and daughters for the responsibilities of adulthood one step at a time. A sudden transfer of power can be disastrous for both generations.

Before you say good night…

  • Are you gradually granting responsibility and freedom to your kids?
  • What should be the next step in this process for each of your children?

Great God and King, we ask for Your grace and wisdom as we seek to prepare our children for life as adults. Show us how to grant responsibility and freedom in appropriate measure, always depending on Your guidance for choosing the right path. Amen.

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.