Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sometimes With Our Kids We Have To Let Go

In three days our hearts are going to break - again. No, there's no divorce or funeral or rejection letter coming that I know of at least. Rather, my daughter, son-in-law and two of our grandsons (almost one and three) will be moving from a home fifteen minutes away to over six hours from us.

The two adult kids that we love and their boys who we watched be born, babysat and played with often will suddenly be in another city that requires a good part of a day to reach.

We won't be able to just get in the car last minute and drop by, invite them over for dinner or take the boys to the mall for an hour or two of fun.

Why the move? Well, Amy and David will be involved in a ministry to college students at Texas Tech. They will be making a difference in the lives of students who need God's direction and involvement in their worlds.  They will be loving on people they way we would want our kids to, they will be doing something that matters for eternity. Who in the world doesn't want to see their children grow up to be world-changers?

To be honest, years ago we did the same thing to our parents and to this day don't live nearby either of our moms who are still living. Yes, they had some years like we did being near us and our children but I'm sure they wanted more. We do too. But there are no guarantees. Sometimes we have to let go so that our offspring can be all that God intended for them to be.

In fact a lot of parents never let go even when the kids are nearby. They expect the same involvement every weekend or holiday, they continue to make decisions for them and even obligate them to stay close through large loans or gifts of money and other resources.

The reality is that our children were merely on loan to us in the first place. And yes we have a right to long for and enjoy those years we do get to be near them. We plan to do as much as we can to be involved in our kids and their kids' lives during the years ahead. But we dare not stand in the way or use guilt or other manipulations to somehow keep everyone together. That's usually more about our getting our own way than about letting our kids fly and blossom wherever God calls them to be.

There are several haunting and poignant verses about this in the Gospels, one of which is found in Matthew 10:37, a portion of which says, Anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. I like to joke that it doesn't include grandsons or granddaughters but that misses the point.

Sometime God may ask us to accept the fact that He may want our kids to go somewhere that is not near us. God may ask them to even go overseas. And our faith and commitment will be stretched like never before. Thankfully, technology is allowing us to connect in ways we didn't even dream about a few years ago. 

Nonetheless, the tears will still come and the lump in the throat may persist for awhile. It won't be the same as having them down the street or in the next community. But it will be worth it and God will honor our sacrifice. Let's not mess up the great things God wants to do in the precious children He gave us by simply refusing to let go of the rope we've had around them all these years.

Remember, God had to let go of His Son for awhile, too.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.


  1. Great post, Gary. I was a few rows behind our pastor's wife this morning. I watched her shed tears as her son helped lead worship and also sang an offertory. He and his wife--and toddler plus one in the womb--are leaving tomorrow to move to MS to be dorm parents. Another son is a in Colombia.

    Our kids are all with us right now, but I know that won't be for long. What a blessing that your daughter and son-in-law are following their Heavenly Father's leading! I know that gives you comfort.

    We did the same thing to our parents 15 years ago. My dad used to tell people that "not only did Tim and De leave but they took our grandchildren with them!"

    This is a great post. I will keep it in mind in the years to come. Praying for peace and comfort for you and Jackie.

  2. Thanks DeLynn for your heartfelt encouragement and understanding. Your prayers will be appreciated.

  3. It will never be easy to let go our kids but as parents we just have to learn to accept that. I remember when I wrote a post about letting go when my eldest daughter who was a volunteer for a summer camp went to a place very far from the city with her youngest brother Red who has autism. I cried the whole day, but after that I told myself that my son will never learn to be independent if I continue to be protective of him because of his disability.

    Thanks again for an inspiring post Gary and I will definitely be back for more !

  4. Thanks for your encoruagement Sarah.