Collapsing Under the Pressure
One sunny May afternoon a few years ago, when year-end celebrations were the normal routine we all took for granted, a high school counselor friend of mine picked up the phone from the desk in her office and then quickly excused herself to see a student. A high-performing student emotionally collapsed under the pressure she was under. Who contributed to the pressure is a mystery, but it hovered over her until she all but suffocated underneath it. “Almost 32 percent of teens experience one of the anxiety disorders,” Carol Landau Ph.D. explained in an article written for Psychology Today in August of 2020, “Clearly, the isolation and disruption caused by COVID-19 will only exacerbate these mental issues.”
As a parent myself, I have no solid answer as to whether I expect too much from my children. I volley back and forth between having compassion for the specific challenges of their generation, considering the underlying anxiety they are at high risk for just by breathing air as a teen, and an imperative goal to raise them with a hard work ethic and strong faith. It’s an impossible task for any parent to perfect the process. Luckily, God has not placed any child in our care accidentally. He’s simply not a coincidental Father. His purpose for each of us is unique. When we are tempted as parents to take control of unearthing our child’s specific, God-given calling, we can take a literal chill pill. Scripture promises the work God has begun, HE will finish.
What Does God Expect of His Children?
The world is full of sin, and a mess with injustice, unfairness, pain, suffering, and tragedy of every type. Each day is filled with a new worry we never had to think about before. God has not only thought about it, He goes before us and behind us. He is always with us and chose us to participate in His plan because He loves us, and knows it will thrill us to live in a way that brings glory to Him. He created us to glorify His name. He placed us in a specific generation, for such a time as this. There is no such thing as an accidental life or a mistaken existence. Every single human being is loved more than they will ever be able to imagine by the Father who created them with the specific purpose only they can walk out in this life.
When we, as parents, understand more about who God is, and Whose we are, we are less likely to expect too much from our children. God expects a lot from His people. We are called to be set apart, not like the rest. That alone is hard. He has placed commands to be obeyed in the Bible, so we can live our lives to the full, as Jesus died for us to do. There are consequences for our mistakes. God hasn’t placed us on the earth as robots who do His bidding. He is a relational God. He desires for us to know Him, to have hearts that beat for Him.
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