I just caught a line of conversation on Facebook that disturbed me. Well meaning Christian friends talking about the recent tragic suicide of Matthew Warren, Pastor Rick Warren's son.
So far in my readings about this terrible event I had only seen heartfelt sorrow for the family and their congregation expressed. But today, I saw a most disturbing other side. A voice of accusation towards the parents and the ministry they represent. Perhaps they neglected him. ......Perhaps they were irresponsible or cruel parents.......Perhaps they wanted fame more than their family.......and my heart was grieved at these words.
Actually those piercing words I read today took me back in time to when the same thoughts of accusation ran through my own mind as well. I relived instantly the day we discovered a suicide threatening journal in the bedroom of our traumatized, mentally disturbed 15 year old daughter.
As soon as I heard of the Warren family's pain, I was so concerned this would happen. Parental blaming somehow gives us a way to deal with something that seems so senseless and dark and unexplainable.
Suicide is considered the third leading cause of death for today's American teen. And while this young man was no longer a teen his parents had apparently lived under the real threat of suicide since his early teen years.
My heart goes out to his mother right now. Broken, grieving, confused and filled with regrets, she does not need to hear it was all her fault! Because I am certain it wasn't.
Now, Lisa, if you do not know these people personally how can you possibly say that? Because I have come to understand the world of spiritual warfare concerning our children. This was an adult child who made adult choices. Sure his parents made errors. All parents do. But mental illness is a very real and a very complicated emotional/physical/spiritual problem that cannot be simply thrown off as evidence of bad parenting.
I am stopping again and praying for this family. I am also stopping right now and praying for the hundreds of families of teenagers I have met who are battling for their children's lives as well. Would you care to join me?
Perhaps we can take this opportunity to sharpen up our skills at detecting suicide threats in the lives of our children.
Here is a great link to get us started......http://family.custhelp.com/app/answers/list/kw/Suicide/search/1
In this difficult hour to raise teens, we really do need each other! POTTS is our organization to bring you and your family some extra strength and hope. We would love to have the honor of praying specifically for your needs. Click here to send us your requests.
If you are in a battle in your home, please check out our family's resource, Unmask the Predators, that includes the Victory Battle Plan for parents facing a crisis.
coffin photo courtesy ambergris