When Your Child Breaks Your Heart


Where did I go wrong?  Didn’t our values sink in at all?  These are examples of questions parents may ask themselves after their child breaks their heart. 

When children make bad choices some parents won’t believe or accept it. 

When faced with this adversity many parents don’t know what to do or what to say,  so they do nothing at all. 

Parents must learn how to parent with pain. 

It hurts to not force your will on your children, or to ask for forgiveness.  An effort to secure a happy and healthy relationship with your children and a healthy relationship with God and yourself must come first.

To Intervene or to Not Intervene

Be willing to let your children make mistakes and gain his or her own experiences. 

Giving your relationship with your child over to God is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do as a parent. 

In The Parable of the Lost Son, (Luke 15:11-32) the man’s youngest son asked his father for his shares of the estate. 

His father gave it to him without hesitation even though he may have known it would probably bring grief.

One of the most difficult decisions parents have to make is deciding whether to intervene in their child’s life.

As a parent, it’s natural to believe as long as your children are living under your roof they have to obey your rules. 

We try to micro-manage and control them, but you’re actually blocking them from getting the experiences that God wants them to have.

It was an invaluable experience for this man’s youngest son to “live with the pigs” (running away from home or becoming a drug addict), then come to his senses by repenting and returning home. 

When your child returns home have the same attitude that his father had when he said, “Welcome home son, I love you!”

Forgive Yourself

No matter if your child loses their faith, become pregnant, or falls in love with a loser, know that it isn’t your fault.  

Many parents find it hard to get over certain things they’ve done in the past and take the blame for how those things affect their children (It doesn’t help when children constantly remind them of that past). 

Understand that your child will blame you for putting them through hard times maybe because of not having food in the house, divorce, your drug abuse, or working long hours. 

While these things definitely play a major role in a child’s development understand that once the child is grown they’re responsible for their own life. 

Stop blaming yourself and ask God to forgive you.  But just as importantly forgive yourself. 

Learn from your mistakes and don’t take your child’s decision making personal.

Harmony at Home

As loving parents some of us may have tendencies to give our children everything they want this doesn’t teach them responsibility.

Deep down children crave structure.

While they love being spoiled at a young age as they get older they’ll resent not growing up in structured home. 

This “structure” begins with your relationship with God and your relationship with yourself. 

As long as you’re focused on your child’s negative behaviors your home will never be balanced and there will never be harmony. 

From my own experiences I know it takes a spiritual person to continually focus on the positive.

The Bible says in Philippians 4:8-9 “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me, put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Parents who detach with love understand that their peace of mind is very important and that they have done all they can regardless of what their child thinks or says. 

Happy Ending

Trying to discipline all of your children the same way can cause problems within your family because not all children respond in the same way. 

Going back to The Parable of the Lost Son, the man’s oldest son felt cheated and was quietly resentful of his brother.

He was angry at the return of his younger brother and showed no love for either him or their father. 

Although this must have broken his heart, his father patiently allowed his son to speak his concerns, complaints, and criticisms without minimizing his feelings. 

He allowed him to express his disappointment and anger. 

The willingness to let children make mistakes and the capacity to forgive them are two important qualities all parents need to have.

This comes from understanding that children need their own experiences, learning how to genuinely forgive yourself, and having a healthy relationship with God.




Categories: Family, Parenting, Relationship

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16 replies

  1. Thank you for this! Really helpful and timely for many reasons, especially the idea of letting our children make their own mistakes, thus learning responsibility. So pertinent to our oldest child right now.

  2. Your welcome! Having older children really can test our spirituality. I know because I’m going through a test right now..LOL Thanks for commenting.

  3. This is so true, I pray God helps me to loving lead my child to Him. And the forgive myself part, I also receive grace… Thanks for sharing friend, do have a super blessed day!

  4. Thanks Ugochi, I know I struggled when our daughter went off to college. It’s was hard letting go. I think that’s when the parents does the most growing up.

  5. Way to go Vernon!
    I am really enjoying your blog. It’s so nice to see more black men step up and acknowledge that a relationship with the FATHER is important in every relationship you have. I especially like that you are offering strength to parents whose children have made a mistake but at the same time offering wisdom to parents about how to correctly raise those same children. I reflect a lot on raising my child and one of the main things I would have done was kept him away from family members who were not being raised the way I was trying to raise him. However, I thank God that my relationship with the Lord has always been my mainstay and he grew up knowing that the first thing Mama is going to do about anything is PRAY! I can only hope that now that he’s grown he does that as well. I know that you have to be all up in their faces about the Lord, being a servant and being obedient. It sticks in the back of their minds and one day they have that lightbulb moment and say “this is what Mama (or Daddy) was talking about”! Nothing like your child’s AHA moment! Continue to serve, to grow, to encourage!! This is great!!!

    • Thank you Carmen! WOW, I remember that AHA moment all too well. It stuck in the back of my mind what my mother use to preach to me about the Lord. She prayed and put me in God’s hands. I know my relationship with God is a direct result of her prayers and allowing me my life experiences. We must continue to pray for our children. Thanks again for blessing this blog and please come back.

  6. Very inspirational Vernon hats off to you, love reading your blogs!

  7. This was inspiring I wish more father would reach out and help and support their children. Kids don’t want toys they want love and understanding from caring adult. Learning to forgive is the first step thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Patrice,

      You’re right children do want loving and caring parents. We must set the pattern for our children by being an example of what it means to be responsible.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  8. Totally agree, we should let our children have their own experiences and learn from it. My son is growing up and in the process of transitional period, along the way, as a parent we need to adjust too and more prayers for their guidance and protection. Wonderful blog. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  9. We can’t rescue them every time they get their hands dirty. It takes some adjusting on our part.
    But prayer is the best solution in the process of letting go because our emotions be all over the place.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. I can’t begin to explain how much this post touched me today! Parenting is truly the most difficult thing I have done and I am always second guessing myself. Finding this post today could not have been better timed. Thank you so much for sharing it!

    • Hi Annissa,
      I glad to hear this post helped you. I’m with you that parenting is challenging but rewarding.
      I often second guess too.
      That’s why I need all the help I can get.
      Have a blessed day and do come back.

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