"Hakuna Matata" Parenting the Wild Child

I often tell my 16 year old son that I am going to write a book about him because someone needs to hear my story! I say this in jest, because I have so many stories to tell about the ups and downs of parenting him. He is my wild child. Sometimes I love the roller coaster adventure and other times I just want to get off the ride. Parenting Ty has brought out a side of myself that I never saw while parenting his older sister. Each child is different and there's no way you can ever be prepared for parenting. It's on the job training and lots of trial and error. It seems to me that parents don't talk about parenting as much as they should to other parents. Especially parenting teenagers! It can often seem that everyone else must have it all figured out and the chaos is only happening in your house. That's not true! No child is perfect and no parent is perfect and any two imperfect people together will endure lots of ups and downs. All children grow through a process of transition and changes internally and externally that cause all types of stress and frustration within the home. As parents, it's our jobs to walk with our children through their process. It can be difficult to watch them try on different selves as they search for their identity and place in the world.

I recently had a revelation about my son that really helped change my perspective of his process. I’m working on parenting him from a place of faith instead of fear. It sounds a whole lot easier than it actually is. When I see him constantly doing things that I know are outside of God’s will for his life, I must understand that all things are still working towards the plan of God. For many are the plans of a man, but it is God’s plan that will prevail. So when I see him high from smoking weed and in my kitchen making ten sandwiches I need to say look at my young prince you are called by God and chosen by God. But instead I say, “Look at you in here looking like a wild animal.” Then I beat myself up for it. I know I have to get rid of the contempt and disgust that I feel when I see him in that state of being, but it is very difficult. My natural reaction is scorn. Logically, I think that I can say something to shock or scare him into repentance. Like if he can truly see himself how I see him in those moments then he too would not like what he saw and want to change. Yea that doesn’t make much sense. God does chastise those he loves and he corrects every son that he receives but he does not use fear. As a matter of fact the word says that perfect love drives out fear, for fear has to do with punishment and the one who fears has NOT been perfected in love. Essentially, when I parent from a place of fear instead of faith, I am projecting my fear onto my son and this is wrong. The word says speak those things which be not as though they were. I know that life and death are in the power of the tongue and the word also says that God has given us the right to declare a thing and it will be established.

So why do I struggle with this principle in my relationship with my son? Because it’s hard watching your loved one do things that are harmful and contrary to their identity in Christ. It’s painful as a parent watching your child make choices for which you know the outcome is negative. I can only imagine how God, the ultimate Father feels for us his children. One may say, “Well, God knows the end from the beginning so that’s why he doesn’t worry like we do.” Well if you have an intimate relationship with God he will give you promises about your children that tells you their end as well but that doesn’t make it any easier. You still have to endure the process. And as I have learned in most cases when God gives you assurance beforehand it’s because there will be turbulence in the process and you will need to hang on to that word for dear life! When Jesus entered into the boat with his disciples he told them that they were going to the other side. Jesus the walking breathing word told them the end from the beginning, but that didn’t stop the storm from raging in the process. As a matter of fact the storm was so strong that it seemed as if it would rip the boat in two! When the people freaked out and cried out to a soundly sleeping Jesus he rebuked them and told them they had little faith!! He simply spoke to the storm and they made it to the other side safe and sound just like he said. This is a picture of exactly how we are when we receive a prophetic word. We cry out in the turbulent part of the journey, but we already have the promise of victory. So in my crying out to God about my son, he has shown me that I must adjust my view of him. I must make sure that I don’t allow my words to harm him while we are in the turbulence. I have to speak what God has already said about him even when it looks like the furthest thing from the truth. I have to know by faith that it is so.

Ty is my last child and my only son, but now I have a grandson on the way by my daughter. God has shown me some things about my grandson as I sat in prayer for him. God showed me that he will be like a lion, strong and regal. So I have taken that word to heart and I have already begun to call him my little lion cub and King Leo these are my names for him based on what God has said. I haven’t met my grandson yet. My daughter is only about six months pregnant, but before he could even arrive and do anything good or bad I have already made up my mind about him. God used that as an example to me. He said now look at Ty. He’s rugged, he’s smart, he’s very observant, he seems to lie in wait like a lion watching his prey, he’s very laid back but when he is roused he becomes ferocious almost like a different person. He even seems to be lazy and playful at times like nothing matters. I began to think about these things. God showed me you already have a lion in your house. Ty is a young prince! Now I am beginning to see what God is showing me. And scenes from "The Lion King" begin to flash before my eyes. God showed me when young Simba ran away and left the kingdom. I heard the famous saying, “HAKUNA MATATA!” and the light bulb went on! Ty is in his “HAKUNA MATATA” phase!! He’s just a young prince in hiding, one who has forgotten who he is BUT the time will come when he will return and take on his God given destiny. He will step into his true identity and defeat Scar (the enemy) and he will rule in the kingdom. So now, I just keep telling myself, “HAKUNA MATATA!” All is well, the young prince is right on schedule. Thank you God for renewing my mind and resetting my view of my son.

Maybe there is a person in your life who you need to change your perspective on... sometimes our expectations of how we think a person should be keeps us from accepting and loving them unconditionally for who they truly are. Especially in their time of process and transition. Change is messy, growth is hard. I pray that God will remind you of his patience and loving kindness towards you throughout your own journey, so that in turn you will remember to extend the same love, grace, and acceptance to the ones in your life who need it the most and then trust God for the outcome! "HAKUNA MATATA!"