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Appreciating My College-Age Child’s Choices

I found that one of the more challenging things of being a parent is to allow your college child to work through the bigger life decisions on their own, without too much interference. By interference, I mean resisting the urge to simply give them what we believe is the right answer. In some cases, we can even be guilty of pass interference(for you football fans). We can inadvertently interrupt the growth and development that comes with relying on God for their strength and wisdom.

As Christian parents, we spend the good part of 18 years trying to provide Biblical guidance, while praying for God’s wisdom and protection for our kids. We establish ourselves as a safety net, providing direction, guiding them through the lanes of life- mainly the straight and narrow lane, as much as we know how.

After all that wonderful counsel we provided through their youth, they grow up and sometimes don’t ask for or even want our input!! As difficult as it is to accept, I found that it’s also both faith building to go through and rewarding to watch.

It’s faith building as I must remind myself, that they were God’s first. He loves them even more than I love them. Psalms 127:3 says Children are a gift from God. Jeremiah 1:5 says God knew Jeremiah even before he was formed in the womb.

I found myself praying more and having to trust God more as my kids grew into adulthood. Often, I sensed God asking me to step back and watch Him develop my child’s character and grow their faith. In the process, He’s growing my faith.

What’s rewarding is watching their faith spring into action as they grapple with the bigger decisions in life, including where to go to college, dating relationships, career choices, and bigger financial decisions. It was encouraging watching both my kids pray for months about their college decision, then seeing God respond with clear direction.

While they may not always ask for your input on some of their bigger decisions, you can bet they care about what you think, even if they don’t verbalize it.

So here are 3 things we can do to support them without pass interference:

1) Encourage them to pray for God’s wisdom and direction in the matter- to pray for God to open the right door and close the wrong door.

You can share Proverbs 3:5-6,

 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

2) Encourage them to seek counsel from other Godly people in their lives that you both trust.

You can share Proverbs 15:22,

“Plans fail due to lack of counsel, but with many advisors they will succeed.”

3) Ask if you can pray with them for God’s wisdom and direction.

This makes a big statement in that it’s still ultimately their decision. You are just their cheerleader, playing the support role and petitioning God on their behalf.

The college years could be a great time of faith building and watching God’s goodness revealed through answered prayers and character development in your child.


  • Bassem Said

    Bassem has been married to his college sweetheart Misty, for 27 years. They have two college aged kids, Brandon and Brooke, both attending Cal Baptist University. Bassem and Misty have been members of Saddleback Church since 2007, where their kids grew up and now serve in different capacities.

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