His parents were astonished when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.”

-Luke 2:48, Good News Translation

hholdIt seems that Jesus ran off on Mary and Joseph as well.  But in today's world, I worry that something could happen due to our son's fearless attitude.  We constantly tell him that he needs to hold hands and stay with us to be safe.  He then responds, “You know, adults have to be safe too.  You have to hold my hand in parking lots and when we cross the road.  You could get hit by a car, so you have to be safe.”  I often wonder if his almost four-year-old mind comprehends what we are trying to teach him.

He likes being in control and thinks he can do whatever he pleases.  My son's strong opinions are just his way of being his own person.  Like Mary and Joseph, we get very nervous when he runs off.  We worry that something could have happened to him.  But even Jesus had trouble obeying his parents.  It is comforting to know that even Mary and Joseph could not always get Jesus to listen to them.

When I feel like I am the worst mom in the world for having a strong-willed and on-the-go child, I try to remember that our example for parents, Mary and Joseph, also had trouble with Jesus.  Children are not the same as us and we can't make them behave.  Though when other moms glare at me after my son has pushed their child, I am discouraged that I have done something wrong.  It is like they blame me for my child having a mind of his own.  I can only try and shape him in the ways of the Lord, but he will make his own decisions and mistakes.

Copyright 2013 Tanya Weitzel