I Can But I Cannot

I can teach my children right from wrong, and I can model God-honoring behavior,

but I cannot control their decisions. 

I can admonish them, and I can discipline them,

but I cannot accept responsibility for their choices. 

I can encourage them, and I can pray for them,

but I cannot dictate their feelings. 

I can nurture them, and I can warn them,

but I cannot protect them from all falls. 

I can applaud them, and I can inspire them,

but I cannot sustain and define them. 

I can back their resolve, and I can support their commitments,

but I cannot do their work. 

I can help form their thinking, and I can assist in shaping their beliefs,

but I cannot determine their thoughts or their way of life. 

I can provide guidelines for them, and I can set boundaries for them,

but I cannot shield them from all hurt. 

I can spur them on toward good works, and I can promote faithful living,

but I cannot own their paths.  

I can create a space for them to thrive, and I can offer them a safe and honest home,

but I cannot secure their success and prevent their failures. 

I can facilitate thoughtful conversation, and I can promote intentional reflection,

but I cannot be their heart. 

I can arm them, and I can assist them,

but I cannot always rescue them. 

I can speak Truth to them, and I can offer feedback to them

but I cannot prevent them from making unwise choices. 

I can share my faith with them, and I can demonstrate my love for Jesus,

but I cannot make my Jesus their Jesus.

I can be faithful in raising them, and I can be committed to loving them,

but I cannot make them feel, do, or be what I want them to feel, do, or be. 

And when I remember that…the pressure fades, the fear subsides, and the controlling ceases.

Why?

Because I can be their Mama, but I cannot be their Savior. 

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4 thoughts on “I Can But I Cannot

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