Parents are Powerless

Powerlessness.  What does this mean to you?  Webster’s dictionary defines powerlessness as the quality of lacking strength or power; being weak and feeble.  As parents of sons and daughters who have problems with drugs and alcohol, self harm, an eating disorder, pornography, sexual identity, mental illness, etc. etc. we try desperately to control.  We wish we had the power to fix them.  We would do anything to strong arm them to get help.  However, we are bound to fail whenever we try to make anyone do something they do not want to do, especially when it is our child!

We are powerless over their anger, unbelief, doubting and rebellion.  We are powerless, weak and feeble in the face of all that is over-powering them.   We are powerless over the experiences that have occurred in their lives that have driven them away from God, to the things of this world.  We are powerless over drugs and alcohol.  Powerless over mental illness.  Powerless over self-harm.  Powerless over eating disorders.  Powerless over sexual identity issues or sexual addictions, pornography and promiscuity and their potential aftermath.  Powerless over it all. We are powerless to convince them they have a problem.  We aren’t that strong!  You know, it actually feels good to admit it!  Takes the pressure off, for sure!  No need to pretend or beat myself up over what I can’t do!

Our peace will grow as we acknowledge our lack of control and continue surrendering them to God.   It is ultimately my child’s battle – a very real battle of good v.s. evil, light v.s. dark, life v.s. death . . . but God is fighting on their behalf!  And He has all power and control!  Al Anon says when I am able to admit that I am powerless . . . my life becomes more manageable! Serenity begins when I surrender.”  I say Amen to that!

A great little book that talks a lot about powerlessness, letting go and recognizing what we can and cannot do is Co-Dependent No More by Melodie Beattie.  Al Anon literature is also very good.  I really like their book called Courage to Change.  You can get one for about $8 at an Al Anon meeting.  Go online to al-anon.org to find a meeting in your area.

A Bible verse that encourages me when I feel so weak and powerless over something I care about so much is:  “Summon your power, O God; show us your strength as you have done before.”  (Psalms 68:28)