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Let Go of the Reins

Let Go of the Reins

Many years ago, my son, Mark, who was 14, planned to fly alone for the first time from California to Florida to attend a Christian golf camp. As I explained how he should find his connecting flight in Dallas, Mark exclaimed, “I know, Mom, I’ll be okay.” But I knew he didn’t know how to “read” the arrival/departure monitor. “He’ll never find the correct gate,” I moaned.

Several hours later about the time Mark would arrive in Dallas, I knew the phone would ring with Mark telling me he had missed his connecting flight.

Suddenly I sensed God whisper in my heart, “You want him to fail. You want to be needed but let him need Me instead.”

I was shocked, but realized it was true.

That evening, the phone rang and it was Mark—in Florida. He had arrived safely. “Did you have trouble finding your connecting flight?” I asked him nervously.

“No, Mom,” he replied matter-of-factly. “It was directly across from the gate where I arrived.”

I fell silent. God had provided for him and I had unexpectedly learned the blessing of releasing my son to God’s loving care.

The releasing occurred in many different ways over the years. Little by little we allowed our children to take control over more areas of their lives. At one point when our son and daughter were in early high school, we increased their allowance quite a bit and they were thrilled. But then we explained that anything they wanted to do or buy would be covered by that amount. They were in control of how the money would be spent for clothes, entertainment, school activities, etc.

It was something we had been working into for many years, giving them more and more choices. They each learned hard lessons from any poor choices they made. And were encouraged by wise choices.

And my husband and I increased our self-control because we had to keep to the guidelines even if our children suffered consequences from poor choices. Our children are grown now and we can see how releasing the reins little by little has paid off in wise adult choices.

By: Kathy Collard Miller is the author of over 50 books including Pure-Hearted: The Blessings of Living Out God’s Glory and No More Anger: Hope for an Out-of-Control Mom. Kathy speaks nationally and internationally. Visit Kathy at

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