Today we want to talk with you about a situation that came up, actually two situations that recently came up in our life as parents of adult kids. We have five kids. They’re all 20 years older, older at this point. And we did our best as parents when they were growing up to teach them the ways of the Lord, to model for them the ways of the Lord, to very carefully apply the things you’ve heard in this podcast from episode zero all the way till now. 


Recently, Mindi was having a date with one of our adult sons, which she does every other week, when possible. She was asking him what he had learned in a study that he and his wife and some other young adults had been doing together, that Mindi and Carey were leading. He began telling Mindi some of the things things he was realizing were sinful habit patterns that he’d developed during his growing up years that were related to Mindi and the things that she had done.
This was hard for her to accept – not because she didn’t think she’d done anything wrong, but because her prayer all the time she was raising her kids was, “Lord, help me not to hurt my kids and cause them to feel insecure or fearful about things because of something wrong I did.” And here was her son, telling her some longstanding flesh patterns and mindsets he had that were rooted in things she had done as a mother.
It broke her heart, to the point that she was in tears. She told him, “I’m so sorry, Caleb. I understand exactly why you’re saying that. I’m so sorry that my flesh caused your flesh to grow.”
This is the reality for parents. We all as parents are seeking the Lord’s help, doing the best with His wisdom and His ability, and yet we make mistakes. We are not perfect in our parenting, and we can’t make it our goal to be perfect in our parenting so that our kids turn out a certain way, because that’s not a realistic goal. Even Jesus had earthly parents who made mistakes. So we need to lower that bar a bit, not that we want to compromise on what we teach and how we teach it and all that, but we need to give ourselves a break sometimes and recognize all of our efforts as good as they might be. A good way of giving yourself a break is doing exactly what God commanded us to do, to “be still and know that He is God.”

So when you’re uptight about things and you have all that pressure on yourself as a parent, God is saying, “Be still, be at peace in My presence and know Me, know what I can do in helping you be a good parent, the kind of parent I want you to be.”
That’s how we view things rightly, we learn to be still before the Lord and not continue to beat ourselves up when we’re not doing things exactly how we want to.

What was the mistake that Mindi made in raising our son?

We’ve said on this podcast that it is important to have regular conversations with your kids, to help draw them out and to know what they’re thinking and what they’re feeling. That’s what Mindi was doing with our son when he was a teenager. And because he was as a teenager and also a boy, he was not into a lot of communication. He was more into his Legos, video games, talking with friends, other things. He didn’t really have the felt need to talk with his Mom.
It’s in that context that Mindi would come into his room and ask, “Can we talk? I want just wanna how you’re doing?”
In his mind, it was very different. He was feeling, “Oh no! Not another deep talk!” and he’d wind up responding, “I’m fine. You know, I I’m a guy. I’m fine.”
But Mindi didn’t pick up on this because of her own need for affirmation from her son. 

Pay close attention to that: She was doing a good thing but from a wrong motive… because SHE had a need she was trying to get met through our son. She felt like she had to have good conversations with him in order to be a good Mom. If she could get to his heart. she would feel that it was a successful conversation. But all the while, it was developing in him a resistance to talking deeply and a little bit of dishonesty that drove him to say, “I’m fine,” just to be done with the conversation.

In hindsight, Mindi says she was out of balance at times, probably pushing him too much toward communication at times. She doesn’t think it was a wrong or bad thing to want him to be open and to communicate, but she didn’t rightly assess HIS needs, she was driven by her own needs.

TO SUMMARIZE: Mindi’s insecurities and fears that told her that her son’s heart could be getting away from her, would tell her that if she didn’t have those deep conversations, she’d be a bad Mom and he would turn toward sin and selfishness. That compelled her to have deep conversations regularly. 

It’s not a bad thing to have the conversations regularly, but her compulsion to have them was coming from an insecure place in her own heart. It caused her to be out of balance. 
That imbalance in her, creating in him a desire to not be open because he doesn’t wanna have to go through all the emotional, deep things. 
So Caleb apologized to Mindi for not being open, and Mindi apologized to him for the imbalance she was seeing in herself. 
As the conversation was wrapping up, Mindi asked Caleb, “So why did you not rebel? Why did you not resist or push against my efforts and become bitter and angry?” She amazed by what he said…
“Mom, first of all, and most importantly, it was because God was faithful in my life. But secondly, it’s because of you and Dad set a godly example of how to live. Your lives showed me that though you may be doing some things wrong in the way you raised me, the overall nature of what you taught me was right and true. I saw that example my whole life, and that’s what kept me on track and showed me how I should live.”
Mindi says that the lesson she learned in that conversation was priceless.
“It just really hit me. I feel like the Lord was saying, “See, Mindi, this whole parenting thing is yes, about the practical things you do to train your children. But more importantly, it has to do with your relationship with Me. Because you’re going to mess up and you’re going to do things that you had no idea will cause damage to your kids. Your relationship with Me, your walk with Me is what matters. Because when you live it out in front of your kids, there’s nothing more important than that when it comes to being a good parent.”
So parents, if your walk with the Lord is not strong, if that is not first priority above anything else, that’s where you need to begin. To start being godly parents, to continue to be godly parents, and to correct things that you need to be correcting with your older children, whatever stage you’re at. 
Carey illustrates with an example from his own life, “If I, as a drummer, want to teach someone else how to be a drummer, but I don’t practice and hone my skills and actually become a good drummer, I really have nothing to teach them. I can teach them a few basic principles that I know in my head but can’t carry out with my hands, but I can’t really demonstrate what it’s really like to be a drummer. Our Christian walk is that for our kids. They need to see that the theological things and the Bible-based truths that we are speaking to them have reality in a human life and can actually work. They need to see God show up in your life. And that only happens as you obediently follow Him with His gracious help.”

And all of that comes about because God Himself is faithful. God’s faithfulness will show itself through your life as you’re obedient.

We can’t expect that God’s faithfulness to appear out of a vacuum in which we’re oblivious to what He wants or indifferent toward it. He proves his faithfulness to those who fear Him.

Another revealing conversation, this time with one of our daughters.

Mindi tells of another recent conversation that taught her a valuable lesson about parenting…
“We were driving in the car to California, helping our daughter move there. We were having a good time together, a very sweet time. The tone of the conversation was good, no bitterness or anger, or anything like that. She was sharing with me her insecurities as a young woman, things that she is aware of that she deals with on a regular basis. And I was encouraging her in that. She brought up something that happened way back when she was learning to read. I remember it, I was teaching her to read and there was a weird dynamic going on between us. Truthfully, I was struggling with some things relating to my parents at that time, some emotional issues that were pretty debilitating. It was a very hard time for me, emotionally and I was having a hard time teaching her to read. It just wasn’t working the same as it had with our two older children. None of it was bad. It was just different. It was hard. I found myself getting frustrated and irritated and bothered many times during our lessons, and at times yelling at her and getting angry. Every single time I apologized and I was so sorry. I would hug her and I tell her there’s nothing wrong with her. And I was broken. I hated hurting her that way. I hated that frustration. So I took the steps that I knew were right, to rectify the problem. I apologized, I assured her it was not her fault, that Jesus was sad about how I was treating her, that I was wrong and I wanted her to forgive me.”
“Eventually I just asked Carey to teach her to read because I didn’t want to hurt her anymore. He gladly took it up and did a great job and she learned to read well. But when we made that transition in our teaching, we sat down with her to explain why we’re changing things up. I was honest with her, telling her, “This is hard for me and I don’t know why. I’m having a hard time in my feelings and I love you so much and I don’t want to hurt you because when I yell at you, I’m wrong and Jesus doesn’t like that. I’m so sorry. Daddy’s going to be your reading teacher now.
“And so we had as much of an open conversation as we could with a little five or six year old girl. So great, we go about our day. We go about our years of raising our kids and at 26 years old she brings up the whole thing again. The thing I thought I had handled rightly. The thing I thought was forgiven and a thing of the past. In fact, I would have told any parent who was struggling with the mistakes they’ve made with their kids to do the same thing.
And what she shared with me in the car was that even though I confessed to her and tried to make things right back when she was 5 years old, it developed an insecurity in her. Surely, there were other things that contributed to that issue as well, but my sins against her were the thing she remembered. I was broken and I was crying, and I was just telling her, “Madeline, I am so, so very sorry.” And she was very sweet, and of course, she forgave me. It was a good conversation.
“In that situation, the Lord was so faithful just to remind me that I need to stay in a humble position, that even in the situations that I think I know what to do, and I do what I believe is the right thing, things can go wrong. This is the effect of sin in our world. This is what happens.
“So it was like the Lord was asking me, ‘How are you going to think about this, Mindi? Are you going to realize that My faithfulness is your only guarantee? It’s not your actions, not even your humble repentance towards your kids, not your perfect parenting. Mindi, I was faithful to her. I was faithful to your prayers that you have prayed for your children all these years. I was faithful and you can rest in that. You can have peace in that.”
“That was such an eye-opening experience to me, and I was just so thankful to the Lord. Of course, I was hating that I had hurt my daughter’s heart. Here she is as an adult, struggling with something as a result of my sin toward her when she was a child, but I’m learning that God is the answer for her.
“The lesson I want to share with all of the listeners is this: This was a scenario where I did the right thing. I corrected my wrong in a right way. I attempted to get to our daughter’s heart in a way that would mitigate the damage and bring healing. But it didn’t happen that way. Instead, as God lives through us and leads us and guides us in wisdom as parents He also allows the power of sin to do its damage for His glory and for the good of all of us in the end. Related to our daughter, she’s growing and learning a lot about depending on the Lord, and she’s fighting her flesh patterns, and she’s fighting her insecure thoughts. She is really growing and doing a great job in the Lord’s strength. We’re very proud of her. And God will be glorified in that.
“We don’t know all the reasons why God allows things, why He doesn’t just heal it all perfectly when you correct it through repentance. He has so many wonderful plans for us each day of our lives, so in that, I just felt like God was saying, ‘Mindi, you can trust My faithfulness. You stay in step with Me. You keep obeying me, being faithful to pray for your children, being faithful to love them, and I will be faithful, and I’m gonna work it all together for good in the end for, My glory and for your good.”

We parents need to get better at depending on Him, resting in Him.

God’s faithfulness is our only guarantee, and we want to allow Him to flow His faithfulness through us as parents as we are surrendered and humble to Him. It’s our God who is the one who deserves all the glory and credit. We’re thankful we get to say that over and over on these episodes.

Carey Green

Carey Green

Bible Teacher, Podcaster, Author

Carey is a retired pastor who served in local churches in various roles for over 20 years. He’s the host of to Christian podcast, “The Morning Mindset Daily Christian Devotional,” co-host of a Christian parenting podcast, “God Fearing Kids and the Parents Who Raise Them” which he hosts with his wife, and co-host of “You and Me And Jesus: A Christian Marriage Podcast,” also hosting alongside his wife, Mindi. Carey has written numerous books, including a Christian Speculative Fantasy Fiction series, “The Dragon Slayer Chronicles.” He’s the founder of Podcast Fast Track (a full-service podcast production company focused on serving small businesses and entrepreneurs) and love family, Jesus, and life.


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