My son will be going off to college soon. He has withdrawn
emotionally from the family. Is this normal, and will it pass?
Your sonÕs withdrawal can be normal, but it also can be a
sign that needs to be heeded. Often an adolescent leaving home begins to think
about all that his or her leaving will mean. The lack of immediate support,
loss of contact with friends and making it on their own are concerns voiced by
adolescents in my office.
These concerns are real and frightening for many healthy
adolescents and need to be addressed. It is important to monitor your son for
depression. Moving away from a loving home environment can be very frightening
and lead to depression.
The first thing you should do is pray for your son. Pray the
Lord will strengthen his faith and knowledge that he is never alone. Also pray
for wisdom to talk with your son.
Take the opportunity to go out with him and casually bring
forth your concern regarding his recent changes. Ask him if he knows what is
going on within him. Do not be surprised if he states he is not aware of any
Let him know many adolescents have concerns about leaving
what is familiar, and youÕre wondering if he is having the same concerns.
Normalizing reactions to change is often very helpful and allows the teen to
share openly any thoughts he may be having.
If he chooses to share his concerns — listen. Do not
minimize what is said. Help him see solutions to his concerns. Ask his help in
coming up with which solutions would be beneficial for him.
Reassure him of your love and desire to stay connected to
him, that you will be there for him, and most importantly his Heavenly Father
will always be with him.
Pat Barrett, Ph.D., is a psychologist and child therapist
with EMERGE Ministries in Akron, Ohio.
How many animals did Jesus ride into Jerusalem at His
At first glance, the Gospels seem to disagree. Matthew
21:1-9 says the disciples brought a donkey and a colt; the other three Gospels
speak only of a colt or a young donkey (Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-38; John
All four Gospels see this as a fulfillment of the prophecy
in Zechariah 9:9: ÒRejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of
Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle
and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkeyÓ (NIV). (ÒHaving
salvationÓ could better be translated Òbeing salvation,Ó identifying Him as
Matthew indicates that at first the disciples put some of
their outer garments on both the donkey and the colt as saddles. However, Jesus
chose to ride the colt, probably since it had not been ridden before. This
would probably identify Jesus as priest as well as king.
The meaning is not that He sat on both the donkey and the
colt. He sat on ÒthemÓ (the clothes of the disciples) on the colt. The other
three Gospels do not mention the donkey in order to emphasize it was the colt
He rode on. To them, the donkey left behind was out of sight and not
We should note also that the people coming up the hill to
the temple would chant Psalm 24, where verses 7-10 would help them make the
connection to Zechariah 9:9.
Stanley M. Horton, Th.D., is distinguished professor
emeritus of Bible and theology, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary,