Yesterday my engaged son went "through the temple." In our religion this is a sacred and special thing. It is an additional ordinance to baptism. We believe it is a saving ordinance. And it is a prerequisite to his temple marriage in a couple of weeks. I am so happy he has made this choice in his life. I am so happy that he has chosen this path.
It isn't the path that is most often taken in our religion. Most young men choose to go on a mission for the church before starting their other life plans. But my son did not. It was just not something he wanted to do. No matter how much we thought he should.
I was disappointed with that.
But dealing with being disappointed in your children's choices is part of growing up as a parent. Children do not always follow just the way we plan. They have their own independent spirits and their own abilities and preferences and thoughts. They make their own lives.
And that is as it should be.
Sometimes we get too caught up in our children's choices. We think we see the beginning from the end. We think we are older and so we know better. We think we should be listened to and followed.
But the truth is, we are not God.
Only God knows the beginning from the end. And only He is the one who can best guide our children. As our children become adults, He really is the only one that can continue to "parent" them.
If we hold on to our disappointment with our children's decisions, we will alienate them from us. We will stifle our relationship with them. And we may stifle their ability to grow through their decisions. God does not do this. He continually points people in the right direction. No matter where they are. No matter which way they are turned. And God is the only being that has a perfect compass.
I am glad my son has made this decision to go through the temple. From my viewpoint, it is a move closer to God. And that leaves me feeling very peaceful. Because I know that if my son is close to God, he will continue to find the life that is best for him. It may not be exactly what I envisioned or planned. But it will be the right life for him. And in that, I can never be disappointed.