Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Getting Caught....

I received this devotional in my inbox this morning and just had to share it. I was surprised to find out that I wasn't the only one who had this prayer (actually, a bit relieved because it always makes me feel guilty and like a mean parent!).

Getting Caught
By Micca Monda Campbell

"Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 (NAS)

Do you pray for your kids to "get caught" when they do wrong? I know that may sound strange to some, but let's say that you have a student driver in your home that is inclined to speed. Wouldn't you rather he or she be stopped by a police officer than be stopped by a tree? Praying for your child to "get caught" may be the difference between the two.
As parents, it's our job to teach our children how to live wise, safe and healthy. Thankfully, God is on our side. I use Him to my advantage by praying daily for my children to "get caught" in their wrong behavior. They are aware of this and have learned that God always come through.

I'll never forget the first time my son "got caught" speeding. He was a young driver who thought that he was "King of the Road" until his reign came to a halt by a state trooper.

Entering through the backdoor, he didn't say a word or even look at his dad and me. Placing the ticket on the kitchen counter, along with his keys, he ran upstairs to his room, closed the door, and began to sob. His dad and I looked at each other. Immediately, I got up, went to our son's room, and knocked on his bedroom door. He didn't answer.

Downstairs, his dad called to me, "You're not going to believe this." Still holding the ticket in his hand, my husband informed me that our son was speeding down the highway through a construction site at 92 miles per hour. Stunned and feeling rather sick to my stomach, I replied, "So that's why he left his car keys beside the ticket. He knows we'll never let him drive again."

Although I was terrified at the thought of my son I racing down the freeway at top speed, I was thankful that he had been caught and was alive to sit in our family room and discuss, again, the good habits of safe driving. Of course, he had a few months to review those safety tips before he sat behind the wheel of a car again.

Getting stopped by a police officer for speeding instead of a tree is actually a gift of grace for both our teens and us. It provides us with the opportunity to further train, nurture, and guide our adolescent according to the rules of the road. Otherwise, they may continue to speed without our knowledge which could lead to tragic results. For that matter, any misconduct that happens without our knowledge can cause a child to end up in a place he or she never intended on being.

Praying for your kids to "get caught" is not about being a controlling, mean, rule-orientated parent. It's about being a wise, caring parent. When your child "gets caught," it's not a tragedy nor is it a cause to tear down their spirit with condemning words of disapproval. "Getting caught" is actually a blessing in disguise. It's an opportunity to "re-train your child in the way they should go" (Proverbs 22:6).

When we see it from this perspective, it defuses our anger and allows us to see the situation in a new light. I've come to realize that God is hearing my prayers and protecting my child by allowing me to see where he or she needs more guidance. Revealing these rough edges is God's way of coming along side of us and helping us to parent our child. With God on your side, we're sure to succeed.

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