May 202014 0 Responses

Graduation Night: A Lesson for Parents

I look at the pictures on Facebook and wonder what it is like for a parent to watch a child graduate High School. They see their little baby all grown up and they must be overwhelmed with emotion.

As mixed as their emotions must be over their child growing up, it’s also frightening to send a child into an adult world. They have matured in stature but their minds are not fully developed.

Prom night, graduation night, and every other night is fraught with peril. Parents are afraid because they know what can happen. (See: The One Piece of Advice I Would Give a 7th Grader)

They know the possible outcomes of:

  • hanging with the wrong crowd
  • driving too fast
  • being careless
  • giving in to the temptation to drink
  • trying drugs
  • a physical relationship going too far

Graduation night scares parents because parents know something students do not. We know one bad decision can have long-lasting consequences. (See: Remember This When You Make a Mistake)

We know it in the lives of our children, but we often forget it in our own lives. Humanity’s great deception is about consequences. In the Garden, God clearly gave Adam and Eve commands of what they could and couldn’t do. He also made the consequences of disobeying him clear. His actions are a great example of good parenting—clarify the commands and the consequences.

When the serpent slithered into the picture, he asked Eve about the command, but then created doubt about the consequences. “You will not surely die,” he said. He contradicted the consequences which God clearly communicated. When humanity believed the serpent over God, we sinned.

Notice our deception wasn’t so much about what God commanded but instead was about the consequences which came with disobedience. As it was then, so it is now.

We are tempted to believe our decisions will not have lasting negative consequences. It’s a temptation we fall for too often. We know better with our kids, but we do not realize it with ourselves. (See: Trust Me, It Matters)

Decisions matter. While every choice may not have a long-lasting consequence, some will. And rarely do we know when one might. While no one can be perfect, we can be wise. Seemingly small choices can have long-lasting effects.

If you doubt that, look at your waistline. Small choices of how you eat add up.

If you doubt that, look at your savings account. Small choices of how you spend and save add up.

If you doubt that, look at your marriagemuscles, attitude, or anything else for that matter. Small choices make a big difference over time.

This should cause us to seek wisdom and to act wisely. Unfortunately, far too often we simply live in denial, falling for the old human deception that it won’t happen to us. Because we are deceived, some of us don’t:

  • get insurance
  • save for retirement
  • exercise
  • floss
  • create boundaries
  • work on our marriage
  • seek help

Instead, we foolishly hope nothing bad will happen to us even though we know in the back of our minds that our bad decisions will catch up to us one day. It doesn’t have to be this way. (See: Three Loves to Change Your Life)

We can recognize the importance of our decisions. We can admit that our choices matter. We can make our decisions carefully while also learning more about decision-making. Our choices matter. We know this with others, but we need a reminder for ourselves.

For more, see:

What a Timeshare Presentation Taught Me About Bad Decisions

How to Make a Decision

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