Sunday, May 5, 2013

Adult Parenting 101

Every so often the Lord gives me a message and I get busy doing something else and it slips my mind.  This morning I was pouring my morning coffee when the Lord brought to mind my life with my adult children.  I am writing it down.

I have two children.  They are 36 and 35 yrs old.  I love to chat with them on the phone.  It was not so long ago that it was not possible for me to do that.  We had become estranged.

There are many reasons why parents become distant with their children and the reasons for my own estrangement were many.  Yet, one parenting lesson helped me to reach out to my children with positive results.

The Lord reminded me that He loves them and will fix them.  You see, I was like a lot of moms when my kids were young.  I’d straighten their clothes, fix their meals, clean their rooms and remind them constantly about manners, and how to act.  That is a good thing when they are small.  I also told them about Jesus.

The word of God says, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’  So, when the time comes for that same child to be an adult…I no longer have to point to all of his sins and let them separate us.  Somehow, I had  focused on the sin more than the person who was my child.

Adult parenting had never occurred to me.  Yet, the Lord is merciful.  He reminded me to surrender all to him.  Part of that package is my children.  Each day I pray for their revelation from the Lord for their life.  Rather than jump when I see them going down a wrong path though, I come to them in the spirit that God would want me to take.  Constant lecturing does little good except to stress both parties out.  Yet, I can show them how the Lord has helped me. 

I can still reach out in love to my children without nagging them. They need to hear the truth in love though. I have found that sometimes I am not the person who they want to hear it from.  That is fine, I pray that God will send someone whom they WILL listen to.

 I have found out that I need not tell them what they are doing wrong because they already know.  What is needed is to find out who they can go to when they are in trouble.  Always, I explain how Jesus is never far from them.  We can walk millions of miles away from him but just one step in his direction and we are standing before him.

My children’s sins do not keep me up at night.  I intercede for them each day and let the Lord stay up all night watching over them.  My part is to love them and be a life testimony in front of them.  Our choices might be miles apart, yet God has chosen them for my children.  I will never let my children’s sins bring division in our life. 

Satan loves to divide and conquer.  When we know we are in sin, we are apt to isolate ourselves.  The very idea that a parent would find us out and point the finger will keep the divide even wider.  I do not compromise the word of God, or stop being a person guided by the word.  Part of that is having discernment to know right from wrong.  I realize my children might not always do things right, but letting their sin be my main focus in our relationship would be wrong.

It is a beautiful moment when your child comes to you with a statement like ‘I think it’s time I made some changes.’  We can encourage them, love them, and point them in the direction of a merciful and righteous God.

In the meantime, remember God loved us in spite of our wicked ways.  Any good that is in us comes from Him.  Keep praying, keep hoping, and ask for ways to help our adult children see the life of Jesus in us.  He stands with arms wide open, we can too.

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