by Pastor Tim Burt
Oh the challenges of the Christian parent that has to watch their adult child go through the stage of figuring out what they believe. You no longer have the right or say in their life that you did when they were younger growing up under your guidance. They are adults and you have to develop a real friendship with them the same as you would with anyone else. That's the only way they will listen to you without shutting you out. If you preach at or yell at or condemn them, they will shut you out. Yet you can’t stand to see them make wrong choices or decisions. Welcome to God’s world. He feels the same way about us, yet He doesn’t interfere or manipulate us. (If you’ve been told He does, you’ve been told wrong.) He doesn’t want us to make wrong choices. He wants us to draw near to Him and walk in His grace and guidance. Yet, sometimes you just do your own thing. And so do your children!
So, what’s the answer? Let me give you four areas to anchor your faith and heart on!
First, set your heart like flint that love never fails. Your words my fail. Your approach to loving your children my fail. Love might look like it sometimes fails, but it doesn’t. Ultimately God's love will do its work. God's love does not manipulate. It is truthful, yet appropriate and kind. God's love speaks encouragement, and is full of faith. God's love gives you the right thing to say and the right way to say it or it's not to be said. If you care about your children's love for God, and you should, then these years will teach you how walk God's love-walk like no other. You have to love your children during these years whether it’s a long duration or short. And even if they drive you crazy! Speak good over them. Don't make them part of your gossip to friends in the name of prayer. Call things that aren’t as though they are!
Pray that the angelic host of Heaven will surround them during this time. Hebrews 1:14 (NIV) “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”
Third, show emotional stability! You cannot afford to blow it by letting them drag your emotions into their muddy pit. Sometimes in this searching stage, they get obnoxious, cruel, manipulative, and make seemingly horrible choices. They will want resources without accountability.If they want their own life, release them to it. If they want things from you, don't be manipulative. Think hard and have peace in how you help them or don't. Just show love, not emotions in the process. And don't let them tie your love to your resources. Establish clear boundaries for yourself. Don’t say or do what you will regret, and don’t let them drag your emotions and actions into that place. You are the mature adult right? So keep your emotions in check. Show the love of Jesus the best you are able. Keep in mind that one day they will show up, say they are sorry, and have come to their senses as did the prodigal son.
Finally, don’t you yourself live a hypocritical Christian lifestyle. Your children and the world are watching you! Don’t be a Pharisee and don’t be judgmental. Just live your life in a Christ-like way that you hope they might be proud of and desire to emulate!
In conclusion: remember that as much as you love your children, Jesus loves them more and is working through your prayers behind the scenes! Love and prayer are two incomparable forces surpassing all others!
1 Corinthians 13:8 & 8 (NIV) “Love never fails… and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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