Hello Musings of Mum readers, I’m delighted to be sharing this week on the topic of parental relationships with adult children. My name is Tiffany & I’m the main writer over at Finish with Joy, my husband Kendrix & I are the proud parents of 9 children. And you all are in for a treat because he co-authored this post with me!
How We Prepared to Parent Adult Children
As our children grow up, parents have a tall order in ensuring that our parenting style grows with them.
We move from being heavily involved in their decision making process, to teaching and empowering them to make decisions. To coaching our children or perhaps only giving advice when we’re invited to do so.
A common pitfall then happens when we fail to make the necessary transitions.
Maybe the term “helicopter parent” rings a bell?
While, I’m normally very careful about making gender generalizations, I’m just going to go ahead and state the obvious here. Mother’s are notorious for not knowing how or when to adjust their parenting style as their children get older. Not that I know from experience or anything…that’s just what I’ve heard (wink).
Having adult children is like preparing for a new journey. The preparation oftentimes starts long before you get to the start point.
We present to you, that this is the case when you are preparing to be parents of adult children. My husband and I have identified five keys that we believe to be helpful in the preparation process.
However, for the sake of brevity; we’re only going to discuss 3 of these keys today so be sure to sign up for my email list, in order to be notified when the second part is published.
Key Number One: Lives of Prayer, Worship, and Biblical Study
As our older children enter adulthood, I’ve been surprised by the nature of things that they need prayer for. I told my husband that I’ve been confounded by some of their choices. This has served as a reminder that as long as we’re on this earth; prayer will be an essential part of the parenting equation.As long as we’re on this earth; prayer will be an essential part of the parenting equation. #parentingadults #biblicalparenting Click To Tweet
Not only is it essential as we parent our children, but living a life centered in prayer is something that we can’t model for our children if it’s not a pillar in our own life.
We all know the challenge of trusting God’s lordship over our lives in light of all the responsibilities and activities that compete for our attention.
So we must be vigilant to reject the lie that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. This kind of mentality can lead us to breeze through the more discretionary based elements of our day like our worship & devotional time with the Lord.
Key Number Two: Understanding our Roles as Parents
For married couples, parental responsibilities begin with honoring one another. Our marriages are meant to be a beautiful picture of Christ and His bride, the Church.
Once we have children, they have a front row seat to how much Gospel power is at work in our marriage. It is foundational that our children see that Dad is the spiritual leader of the household (Ephesians 5:23). And that he practically lays down his life for his wife as Christ did for the Church (Ephesians 5:25).
It is also foundational that fathers teach, instruct and discipline our children and not leave those things to our wives because of our own reasonings. Every scripture that speaks to instructing, teaching and disciplining children speaks first to fathers.
At the same time, our children need to see that Mom joyfully submits to her husband and does him good all the days of his life (Proverbs 31:12). It is critical that mothers support and enforce their husbands intentions for the family. The Lord can bless a shaky plan placated by trust in the Lord’s faithfulness to intervene much quicker than He can bless a sound plan conceived in the womb of dissension.
In instances where parents did not represent the above Biblical truths in their home, repentance is the course to restoration.
Through the humble confession of sin and a commitment to apply Biblical truths to the present station in life, parents make room for God to do abundantly above what they ask or think.
Key Number Three: Discipleship
Let’s define discipleship as intentionally helping others to become like Jesus through teaching them to understand the Bible and to obey what Jesus commanded.
In Deuteronomy 6:6-9, God instructed parents to teach their children the commandments by talking of them when they woke up, when they laid down, throughout the day and everywhere they went. This was the prescription for the entire nation to live good and prosperous lives. During Jesus’ three years of ministry on the earth, He adhered to these Old Testament principles in equipping His twelve disciples to turn the world upside-down.
The Great Commission to go into all the world and make disciples, is a charge which starts in the home. As parents we are to use Jesus’ method of lifestyle discipleship to teach our children.The Great Commission to go into all the world and make disciples, is a charge which starts in the home. As parents we are to use Jesus’ method of lifestyle discipleship to teach our children. #parentingadults #biblicalparenting Click To Tweet
In the early years, parents have the greatest influence in their children’s lives least we yield that influence to other people, institutions, entertainment and social media.
Healthy discipleship relationships change as children grow more mature and should continue into those vulnerable young adult years.
If you have come to realize that you did not own the responsibility of being the primary spiritual influence during your child’s early years; I pray you will make things right with God and ask for wisdom in how to cultivate a Biblically centered relationship with your children.
The Way Ahead
Understandably, it can be immensely challenging to change courses once you have raised your children but this is not to say it is impossible; for all things are possible with God.
Rest assured that God is not surprised by your predicament. Nor is He looking at the state of your relationships wondering if His grace is sufficient to make something beautiful out of the precious things you commit to Him.
In His great mercy God has made a way for us through His Son Jesus to have access to all that we need. May the words from 2 Corinthians 9:8 serve as a comforting reminder of this mercy:
And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that having all sufficiency in all things, you may abound in every good work.