What do you think makes an ideal childhood?

Rebekah Phelps
Latest posts by Rebekah Phelps (see all)
Becca as a Kid

Becca in her childhood years

I had some images in my mind of what I wanted my children’s childhood to be like. Probably looked similar to mine (minus the occult stuff). Other than that, life was normal and my memories outside “of that” are pleasant, fun and many vacations. I remember my little sister very well and we were close and have very few memories of the one 7 years older.

What do you think an ideal childhood would look like?

Does that image of childhood match or has it been heart-breaking and gut wrenching?

I know God himself “had a vision” for what he wanted HIS children’s lives to be like and can you imagine being the one knowing all they could have had and all they forfeited because they wouldn’t listen? Can you image that heartbreak? That long sigh and shaking your head? The tears?

I can.

All because their way overrode what they were taught? What they wanted to try or do, who they wanted to hang out with, etc. All because they let desire rule their hearts and minds, all because they were driven by anger, jealousy or temptation that they yielded to. Our conscience WILL stand up to us but we can sear it if we ignore it (I Timothy 4:2) and you never know “when” Mr. Conscience goes silent.

I’m sure Cain and Able’s mother was heartbroken.

Eli’s kids were awful and walked a completely different path then he chose but you need to remember because he opted to “enable” their bad behavior he also received the same punishment they got. I’d imagine God views “enabling” as condoning, taking part in it, ignoring it vs. standing up to it (or them). Well, that’s the way I view it.

I’d imagine some parents fear “losing the relationship” if they chose NOT to confront or enable their children. Can I suggest you don’t have a relationship to begin with? If you don’t believe me…. STOP enabling them – confront, set boundaries and rules. See what happens.

We know the prodigal’s father probably was heartbroken and he didn’t go chasing after the son he let THE SON come to him after he was finished running around or doing what he wanted to do AND forgave him. I bet he forgave him long before he ever came home. I’ve wondered if the son didn’t just come back for some more cash and leave again. Did he “act like” he was on the right track, enjoyed the party … caught up with friends and neighbors and then when everything was “back to normal” Daddy had to say “Boy, you’re not going to live like that in my house…you’re going to have to leave, again.”

Ugh, been there, done that. It stinks but THEY made the choice.

I’d imagine when the Frank Sinatra’s song came out “I did it my way” – God rolled his eyes (while we were dancing around) and said; oh geez, if you only knew what that gets you or where it will take you!

My kids have had a LOT of stuff happen to them. They were used as pawns to get to me, among many other things.

I’m NOT making excuses for them, but DO recognize they went through a lot and they chose a lot of bad activities that became habits, that turned into character issues, that ended up being lifestyles which is very damaging to them as adults.

Kids may think they are experimenting with drugs, alcohol, skipping school, stealing, etc. and MOST are. The sad part is no one knows “which kid” will end up with a lifestyle vs. an experiment in time.

We can choose our sin, but we can’t choose our consequences. Not really. You have no idea the long term effects for a short term decision will be.

I LOVE the book “Do Hard Things” that some young teens wrote. I’m so proud of them and so glad for their parents. It talks about doing “hard things” when you’re young because your choices and behavior end up as your habits as an adult. Side note: Every teen and every youth group should read that book!

As teens I pleaded with them; “I’m not just raising a teen, I’m trying to train you to be wife and a good father.”

I continue to pray for them and stand on … they were God’s before they were mine.
I know, He’s got this. I’m practicing “casting my cares on HIM.”

Rebekah Lea Phelps

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