Give me my space is a common phrase from the lips of teens and children. But what is a Christian parent to do – give them that space or direct their thought process to be pure and Godly! The results of giving space can be devastating not only to the child but also to the parent. The child can have many negative and sinful actions within their lives as they try to gain that space that they so desire. Variations of results can be from one end of the spectrum to the other end- from involvement of sexual impurity, to destroying one’s own body through self-inflicted eating disorders, from bad grades to improper relationship with others …and the list goes on and on. Within the lives of the parents there can also be a variety of results - anger at the child, frustrations to the point that bad disciplining will be evident, from allowing the child to do whatever they desire, to sometimes becoming a dictatorial type of parent, to heartaches and suffering, sleepless nights…and the list goes on and on.
The Bible gives us some illustrations of parents who had to deal with their children asking for space. Samson, Absalom, Hophni and Phinehas, and the prodigal son all desired to have their own space. Within each one of these illustrations we can soon see the terrible results of the phrase of giving a child their own space. Consider the prodigal son for a moment – Luke 15:12 - “And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.” The father, the prodigal son and even the older brother all were affected by the actions of this son. The father gave into the whining of the son and then we read of the pain and agony that he went through for a season of time. The other son had to deal with bitterness and jealousy. The prodigal son, well you know what happened to him, he was in the pig pen eating the left over husks with all of his money gone. Whatever the ages of these above mentioned people – their desire for space affected so many.
Is it proper to give space or should we be training and teaching them within every circumstance of life? The Bible gives to us a very familiar commandment in Ephesians 6:4 - "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." As fathers, we need to learn how to nurture and teach them so that they can be usable and profitable for God. If we do not train and we do not say “no” to them then we will not have the thrill and joy of seeing them being submissive to God’s direction. If they are not submissive to their earthly father how can they be submissive to God the Father? If your child's father is not present then mother it is up to you to either instill this character trait into their life or find them a good Christian mentor that can help you do it. The space which every child should enjoy is the space to be obedient unto God. Let us strive to give our children the space to serve God and not self!!!
Dr. Kerry Feathers - Read BIO