My vow is firm; I don't believe I will marry again. I have made three attempts and have failed at each to my distress. The fortunate part of my marriages are you and your brother and sisters! I am content to fill my life with my relationships with God and my family. I cannot afford for anything to direct me away from this. I will not discount friendships; it seems friendships are the only relationships, which last a lifetime.
As I look back, much of my improvement of myself was and is now based on friendship. If I love and respect then I will improve myself to continue the relationship. Also, I will work within the friendship to help the other. What cannot happen is to try to change the character of the other or be willing to change our own character to "keep" a relationship. But in truth, most refinements in ourselves comes from the company we keep. If you think about it, that is why we can't help be like our parents and why married couples become like each other, assuming they stay married a significant amount of time.
If you concur with the previous thought, I believe you can understand why parents get concerned about who their children are hanging out with.
The sad part about how we are raised is we are raised to be like our parents. Parents don't know any other way, plus the continual statement: "I never could do that when I was your age…" Then at 18, we send them (our kids), out into life - to be an adult! Will the parent accept the child for who they are once they start discovering the child in fact is very different from the parent? Or, what if the child is exactly like the parent - and the parent does not want either? Here lies the challenge of the child, a growing adult. I am not accepted for who I am, my parents reject me. Many children including myself spend a majority of their life, if not all, trying to mold themselves into a form the parents will accept. Most if not all, the parent won't accept…
The child has one of the most challenging decisions of their lifetime. Do I love my own life the one God created for me or do I try to live a life through someone else's eyes and acceptance? The bond between parent and child is so strong, but it has to be broken. The sooner the child achieves this the better off the child will be. May the child be in their own identify to allow the child to grow to be independent and build the father-son relationship on mutual respect and on interest and love of one another.
As I relay these things, if the child is to "be" the unique person they were designed by God to be, if they are rejected by their own parents, what guidance should the child look to? Our heavenly Father. With our faith and love, we are all children of God and if all looked to God for guidance, the Father would not reject the child, and the child would not reject the parents. This does not mean it is one big happy family, but it does mean each person respect and love the other as they are for who they are as children of God.
By the age 12 or 13, a child no longer truly needs a parent. In cultures all over the world and in history, this is proven. What a child needs at 12 or 13 is to learn and understand relationships. We, the parent and the child re equals in God's eyes. The child looks to the parent on how to conduct themselves, how to treat others, and hopefully, the parent is wise enough to know this and most importantly help the child have a relationship with Jesus Christ and invite Jesus Christ to live within thee. To follow his guidance with faith and love. Think about this, would all families get along better if they all shared life with Jesus Christ?
As I write this, I am wise enough to see my own mistakes, yet I am hopeful for the future. I am hopeful we all can invite Jesus Christ into our lives and share our lives together with him.