Many times, I see parents who put their children above everything; above their other children, their marriage and their relationship with God. These parents are sometimes referred to as ‘helicopter parents (however I call them child worshipers) as they persistently hover over their children, micro-managing their every activity. These parents pay close attention to every detail of their children lives trying to shield them from every Injury, failure and most importantly, rejection. They want ‘HAPPY KIDS’ and believe pastors, teachers and others should pay attention to their children in the same “helicopter” way.Research by professors at Brigham Young University indicate that, despite their good intentions, helicopter parents’ overprotective nature might be the reason their children sometimes skip class and turn in assignments late.
Professors Laura Padilla-Walker and Larry Nelson studied 438 students from four universities around the country. About one-fourth of the students reported that parents “make important decisions for me.” And about one-third of the parents reported that they make important decisions for their children.
In their analysis of the data, Padilla-Walker and Nelson found that this seems to backfire in terms of school engagement. As they write in the October 2014 issue of the Journal of Adolescence, this is about more than just homework.
“It would seem that emerging adults should be personally invested in their own growth and development by solving their own problems with roommates, making their own decisions about employment, and seeking their own help from professors,” write the study authors. “By not doing so, emerging adults may be robbing themselves of the experiences and practice necessary to develop skills that are essential for success in marriage, careers, and adult social interactions.”
So, let’s look at some of the ways parents treat children as their god by asking this question “Are your children your god?”
1. Your time with your children keeps you from personal worship, prayer, and bible study?
2. When your need to make your children happy keeps you from appropriately disciplining them.
3. Your children are an excuse for not going to church or serving in the church.
4. When your identity is found in your children to the point that you are easily puffed up or easily shattered based on your children’s actions.
5. When your children’s activities become a barrier to you sharing your faith or interacting with your community.
6. When you live in constant fear for them, often losing sleep, and irrationally trying to over protect them.
7. When you use your kids to make yourself look good.
8. When you need your kids to like you so you give them what they want out of a fear of rejection.
9. Your time, energy, and focus says your children mean more to you than your spouse.
10. You easily become offended when others don’t treat your children special.
And there are so many more questions we could ask, however, the biggest question is “Where is your trust?” I recall my wife telling me how she felt I was too hard on our boys, how I didn’t worry enough or was at times harsh with them about things she felt were trivial. I would then remind her that someday our boys would be the head of their households, employees, husbands and fathers. I had to allow them to fail so that they in turn would learn how to overcome in times of adversity and I had to be harsh with them so they would be accountable for how they were as head of their households, employees, husbands and fathers. I had to show them that my trust was in the Lord for their wellbeing, as we often would pray over our children, lay hands on them and anointing them with oil, we would declare the word of the Lord over them.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26).
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
Rather than hovering over and worshipping your children, speak life into your children and equip them for the ups and downs. Equip them for the successes and failures of life. Equip them to be good employees, husband/wives, fathers/mothers and citizens, both in the natural and the spiritual. The word of the Lord says;
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
So, I’ll leave you with this final question, where is your trust?
“… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15