Summary: It’s one of life’s toughest challenges: Songwriters and authors have called it giving your kids roots and then giving them wings.

One minute, you are helping kids learn how to cross the street safely. Turn around and you’re dropping them off at college. It’s one of life’s toughest challenges: Songwriters and authors have called it giving your kids roots and then giving them wings.

This past week, I’ve been talking with parents whose kids are turning into adults. And, as you can imagine, some parents do better than others. Some are happy with the empty nest. Others hate it. And the questions come. “Do I charge a kid rent if he is out of college and still living at home?” “If my child moved out of town, am I smothering him if I try to get together somehow?”

And I’ve been asking some friends how it was for them when they left home. Were you helped or hurt by the process? I received mixed reviews. One person told me that when she was packing to leave home, her dad didn’t lift a finger to help her carry the heavy boxes out of the house. He sat and watched her struggle. He didn’t want to see her leave. What he wanted to say to her was “please stay.” Another person told me that he heard his dad tell a brother, “Get the [blank] out!” Another man told me that his dad literally threw his boxes down the steps. He couldn’t wait to see him leave.

And then you think about the kind of “encouragement” some parents give their kids. The extremes can look like this: Some parents send the message, “You can’t. You’ll never amount to anything!” So, the kid either gives up or lives his life trying to prove that he’s worth something. Other parents go the other way. Instead of sending signals “you

God has a better idea. If you follow His way as a young adult, you can face a bright future… and learn how to cut the apron stings from mom and dad in a win/win way. If you follow God’s way as a parent, you can face a bright future … and learn how to empower your kids to leave the nest to achieve great things in their lives.

How to leave home… and how to let go:

Doing the roots and wings thing

Text: Selected texts

Series: A home that runs

We are in week three of a six week series:

Week one: The seven wonders of a woman’s world

Week two: Kingdom life and marriage

Next Sunday: Meeting your spouse’s needs – avoiding the conflict that comes when we don’t know our spouse’s expectations

June 8: Keys to great communication – for families that want to be on the same team

June 15: A father’s legacy – for parents to learn how to consistently encourage a child and connect to his or her world.

Today: Leaving home and letting go – a message to families about cutting the apron strings in a godly way

If you have kids in High School or college or you have kids who are just starting a career, this talk is definitely for you!

Or if you are between the ages of 15-25 – you’re getting ready to leave home, you’re in the process of leaving, or you’ve just left – then this talk is definitely for you!

But if these groups of people don’t describe you, please don’t tune me out. This is more relevant than you might think. If you are a parent of young kids, you’d better file these truths away in your heart. The time for you to let go will arrive sooner than you think.

And there’s something here for the people who have already left home. Think back. How was that for you? For some of us, it was great. For others, you know that it wasn’t right. And you’re dealing with the baggage of that. This message may help you gain insight into where things went wrong and why. You may learn some things about how to deal with the damage that’s been done.

This morning, I’ve put the three big ideas we’ll consider in the form of prayers. Prayers to God that our homes run right ought to be consistent and passionate. As we look at the three big ideas, we’ll see that each one contains a cause and an effect – an action and a reaction, a responsibility and an opportunity.

We’re making what theologians call an evangelical use of the law of God. This is the way God wants us to live. We don’t live this way to make ourselves acceptable to God – to make ourselves right with Him. If we live this way, we don’t earn credit in His eyes. We can never earn credit in His eyes. The Bible says, “In our flesh dwells no good thing” and “All our righteousness is like filthy rags.” So, why does He tell us how to live if He knows we really can’t fully live this way? God’s standards and expectations as revealed in scripture show us how far short we fall and then they cause us to call out to Jesus for forgiveness for our failures and for help to obey.

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