We bring the entire history of our parenting experiences into every encounter we share with our adult children, and while delightful memories of distant events remain alive in our hearts—inevitably provoking a smile, or tears, at random moments—there is no turning back to an earlier time.
There is only moving forward, no matter what today looks like.
Even if we can’t go back, we can face this moment and bring something good to it.
Through prayerfully and mindfully letting go, moving beyond the past, and acknowledging what lies behind us, we can turn toward the future with God’s present grace.
When our kids were young, our parenting efforts concentrated on promoting their well-being, shaping their character, and guiding their decision making.
Now that we’re no longer responsible for them in any of these areas, what’s next?
How do we let go of our most consuming concerns for our grown children and change our focus?
Are we ready to accept them as they are and surrender to God our preoccupation with our expectations of them?
When will we trust Him more fully with our maturing family’s care?
Learning how to lovingly affirm and wisely support our grown kids as we let them go—letting them know they are accepted and valued based on who they are rather than on what they achieve or believe—requires humility, a genuine desire for God’s leading, and a willingness to change.
A quote widely attributed to Corrie ten Boom advises us:
“Hold everything in your hands lightly—other- wise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.”
Like learning how to nurture our children when they were younger, blessing them as adults is a series of choices we make rather than a process we instantly or easily acquire.
Rather than constantly picturing our grown kids turning out a certain way, we decide again and again that we will love and cherish them not because of what they do, but for who they are.
What strengthens our parent-child bond post-childhood?
Which healthy strategies will we choose to apply as a means of nurturing and maintaining our adult parent–adult child relationships?
When the going gets tough or we miss being with our grown children, how shall we bless them while valuing and respecting their adult independence?
By better understanding the limits of our God-given responsibility and acquiring wisdom regarding the ways to bless our grown children, we’ll strengthen and refresh our relationship with them, nurturing it by our actions, attitudes, and prayers in the midst of human frailty and imperfection.
In seeking God and His wisdom first, we find we’re able to discern and embrace more fully the vital role we have yet to play.
Words to Remember
Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights. (Proverbs 18:15, MSG)
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2)
From Blessing Your Grown Children by Debra Evans
Being a parent of an adult child is a delicate balance of loving and accepting the child while maintaining healthy boundaries. Many parents find releasing their grown children a challenge, and while parents usually want to be supportive, the choices adult children make are sometimes unacceptable to them, leading to disappointment, anger, and guilt feelings. Both parents and grown kids have many adjustments to make as the child separates from the parents’ control. With this book, parents will learn to move forward into a new type of relationship with their kids.
Learn more HERE.