In Luke 2: 41- 51 Joseph, Mary and Jesus went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. However, when the festival ended unbeknown to his parents Jesus stayed behind whereas they thought he was travelling with the group. Luke 2:44 As a dad of three children a priority for me is that my children feel safe. Nevertheless, over the years I have learnt you can’t be hovering over them all the time and more importantly you can never assume anything. Thus, you have to trust them that they are doing the right thing. Unfortunately, this is not always easy as I say to myself when they tell me they are going to do something how I wish I knew the outcome beforehand.
Next, I try to be positive and listen without judgement in my interactions with my children even when their activities severely test my patience. For example, Joseph and Mary were tested when they were unable to find Jesus and start searching for him. “After three days they found him in the temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” Luke 2:47 When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and Mary said, “Child, why have you treated us like this. Look, your Father and I have been searching for you with great anxiety.” Luke 2:49. My first reaction when my children have done something that has caused me anxiety is to try and remain cool, calm and collected when I asked them about the situation. I know this is the best approach to gaining a response from them. Additionally, I don’t give an opinion on what they have done I just ask them to keep me in the loop. Hence, like Joseph and Mary I might not understand what my children might do but it is vital to open a strong line of communication between us.
Ultimately, I imagine similarly to Joseph and Mary I would like them to be happy in whatever endeavour they wish to follow. Sometimes, it might be a change of studies or a job but I believe what it gets down to is finding something meaningful they can pursue in their lives that gives them a sense of meaning and purpose. Whether that be in their relationships with others or their work I would hope they know that I am there to support them. Just like Jesus was by his Father.