When our children are growing up in our home, we train their spiritual sensitivity so they can “distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14). We examine what’s going on in our home. Who are your children’s friends at school? Where are they spending their time? What are they reading and viewing? What music are they listening to?
Then they leave the nest.
Godly Adult Parenting
When our children first leave home it’s natural to struggle with our roles as their parent. While we must allow them to grow and mature on their own, we still feel a need to give guidance and direction. However, once your child becomes an adult, your relationship should change. We must trust that the Godly principles we’ve taught them as children will manifest in their adulthood; that those seeds we’ve planted in this good soil will grow and flourish!
As our children reach this stage, we would do well to remember that we are no longer the authority they use to look to. They must seek God and His authority. They must use the wisdom we’ve instilled in them to learn for themselves how to self-discipline and seek God for their direction in life. We can no longer impose our direction upon them.
Responsibilities of Parents of Adult Children
Even though our children are at the stage of life where they must make decisions themselves and face the consequences of those decisions, there are tangible things we can do to assist them.
- Pray for them. Never stop praying for your children. Though the circumstances may seem dire at times, God’s word does not return void and it accomplishes what it is sent forth to do (Isaiah 55:11). We must trust God’s timing.
- Adjust your expectations. Sometimes, our expectations are unrealistic. They don’t allow room for our children to grow into their own purpose and at times, will urge them to rebel against you. If you believe this is happening to you, seek God in prayer on your own behalf. Ask Him to remove the scales from your eyes so you are able to look at the circumstances through His perspective. Make sure your heart is open to this.
- Rejoice in the little successes. While it may be bittersweet to know our child is able to afford his own apartment, rejoice in that. Especially if it is not the place or location you would have chosen. This is something they’ve accomplished on their own, and it is a stepping stone to something greater for them. Don’t be a stumbling block on their way to God’s plan and purpose for their life. We don’t get to define what their journey looks like.
Dear Lord, thank You for guiding and encouraging me with Your Holy Spirit … especially when I’m unsure of how to be a parent to my adult children. Help me to be a parent after Your own heart. Amen.
A Mom After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George is fresh help for you—a busy mom!—to make God an everyday part of your child's life.
What expectations do you have of your adult child that can be adjusted to be more in line with God’s Word? What little successes can you celebrate with them?
Once your child becomes an adult, your relationship should change. We must trust that the Godly principles we’ve taught them as children will manifest in their adulthood.