When Your Kid is Living a Decision You Don’t Agree With



Maybe you like me find yourself in yet another situation where your young adult child is making and living a decision you don’t agree with. He put on his I-will-have-my-way super hero costume and flew off to his adventure. Only it’s not a good adventure. He is not going to feed the hungry, affect world peace, or even benefit himself. His plan is not a good idea. You know it. Everyone knows it. But he will have his way.

You feel the angst creeping up the back of your neck once again. In your mind you rehearse conversation upon conversation explaining to him why his idea will crash and burn and why you have a better plan. If only he would listen.

If only you would . . .

  • Come home.
  • Think about your future.
  • Get help.
  • Let us help you.
  • Think about it this way.

If only.

But he’s not listening, at least not now. He is on his adventure and there is nothing we can do to change that.

What are we supposed to do when our hearts are full of hurt for the poor decisions our kids are living out? I asked God and I was surprised at what He showed me.

Take a minute to read Deuteronomy 1:1-8, 19-36.

God showed me several truths about my reality.

  1. God has us. God tells me not to fear or be afraid of the circumstances (verse 29). He wants me to trust Him with our lives.
  2. God is working on our behalf even when I don’t see it. I can trust God when I acknowledge the reality that He goes before my kids and me and He will fight for us (verse 30). This doesn’t mean we will have instant success or see instant results. God’s plan was to drive the enemy out of the Promised Land “little by little” (Exodus 23:30).
  3. God has been faithful to us in the past and He will continue to do so (verse 30). It’s God’s character and He can’t change.
  4. He carries us as “a father carries his son” (verse 31). One more reminder that God has us.
  5. God is prepping what’s ahead for us. He has a plan and He will direct us. We’re not wandering through life on our own. (verse 33) He’s in my kids’ future and in their present and He’s working in both.

God then reminded me of the father of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-24. When the son went to the “distant land” the father stayed on the farm and continued to live his daily life while waiting for his son to “come to his senses.” Sometimes we have no other influence but to pray for our kids to come to their senses while they are in their distant lands.

Remember, God has them there just as securely there as He had them when they were in your home. He using their circumstances to teach them the lessons they desperately need in the only way they can learn. He loves them so much that if there were an easier way He would use it. God is sovereign.

I rest in the fact that God has gone before them and is there with them. He is using their situation for their best. They don’t always listen to me, but God speaks to them in a way they can hear.

God gave me one last encouragement to trust Him. In Deuteronomy 1:41-46, Moses continues to remind Israel of their past. After they refused to believe God and take the Promised Land, God became angry with them and sent them back into the desert. Then they realized their sin and wanted to take the Promised Land, but it was too late. They said, “We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight, as the Lord our God commanded us.” But God said, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.’” And that is exactly what happened.

Parents, I know we think we have all the answers for our kids, but when we charge in where and when God has not sent us the results will be disastrous for all involved. Let’s get out of God’s way and stay on the sidelines, praying until He gives us a clear direction on what to say or do next.

He has your child. As I felt God say to me this morning—

Trust Me. I have this. I have your girl.


I’d love for you to share with me how you are trusting God while your child is on his big adventure.

Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.

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