I believe that people can and should be prodded to do what even they know they should do. As parents, we must be mindful that there is a fine line between encouraging and badgering, and unfortunately, the difference is solely in the mind of the one needing the push. The old adage, “You can only do what you can do” is true when we are left to our own devices. We are all well aware of how unsuccessful meetings are with people who have been forced to go to them, but by the same token, we are also aware of successes for those who relented even after of being shamed into it. It is always more helpful when you want help because then you are willing to do whatever it takes to get out of the hole you are in.

Having said that, my wife and I had to do an intervention for our youngest. He wanted to do the right thing for himself, but he seemed to be absolutely frozen, unable to make the decision to do what he knew he needed to do. So grabbing him by the scruff of the neck and marching him out of the circumstances he was in was a big help for him … and us.
I believe that one of the major things that the enemy is after with people today is to produce voluntary isolation. When we hit a rough patch in life we retreat from people. When we are alone with our own thoughts for an extended period of time the enemy is able to get us to believe all sorts of trash, which in time will turn into gross deception capable of destroying our lives. Clinicians have discovered that the number one motivation behind drug addiction is the loss or lack of connection with people, and I believe it is probably the same thing which results in depression and anxiety (with some significant help from the enemy.) The only response coming from the medical community is to immediately medicate it, which has spawned a multi-billion dollar drug industry, which isn’t really interested in getting people well because that would reduce profits. So perhaps instead of pushing people to counseling and medication, we should be much more interested in creating opportunities for socialization.

I have just completed a book on fear entitled The Enemy Within. One morning I asked the Lord to talk to me about fear since it had been on my mind a lot lately. His response surprised me. He said, “I’d rather talk to you about courage.”  Then again, to my surprise, what He spoke was all about (in the context of courage) was our ability and our responsibility to choose, intimating that what seems to have been lost for this generation is the “moxy, the fortitude, the courage to fight, to make a choice” regardless of the circumstances. It seems that this generation is more easily overwhelmed by their emotions than any of the previous ones. Arthur Burk has called this the Mercy season (using his Redemptive Gift terminology) which indeed would naturally have a stronger emotional component in it than previous generations, but that doesn’t mean that they would be incapable of standing up and making the decisions they need to make to keep the ship upright. So the strategy of the enemy in this day is pretty much out in the open daring us to do something about it.

It’s obvious that the road to maturity has many bumps and potholes, and that’s all the more reason we as parents (and adults) need to take a more active role in guiding our children (sometime forcefully) through the minefields of life.