Peace Between Parents & Adult Children

Peace Between Parents & Adult Children

One area where we need to apply our faith as believers is to our relationship with our grown children.

Thus says the Lord:  Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work (raising of your children, prayer) shall be rewarded, says the LORD, and they(your children) shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope (something that you can expect) in your future, says the LORD, that your children shall come back to their own border (place of peace and safety and well-being).”  (Jer 31:16-17 AMP, emphasis added) 

We as parents must always provide a place of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual peace, safety and well-being.  When we fall short, and most of us fall short in some way at some time, we need biblical solutions and practical help.

And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers . . .  (Mal 4:6 NKJV) The Lord is the only Being who is able to change a person’s heart.  The hearts of parents should ALWAYS be in favor of and in support of their own children.  Our hearts should always yearn for the best things for our children.

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation . . .  (2 Cor 5:18 NKJV, emphasis added)

As followers of Jesus Christ, our desire should always be for reconciliation in our relationships.  If it doesn’t exist at the moment, it’s something that we should take to the Lord in fervent prayer.

It may happen in some families that after children have grown, they choose to disconnect totally from their relationship with their parents.  In some cases, the parents may not have a clue as to why this has happened.  In other scenarios, one or the other parent does know the reason.  It can be the result of one parent who was harsh, overly strict or critical of the child or children as they were being raised.  Or it can be as serious as some form of abuse.  Whatever the situation, it can result in grown children having very painful memories and deep anger and resentment against a parent.  In some cases, the adult children may be in counseling to deal with the emotional and mental pain they are experiencing and have experienced in the past.

Parents who find themselves in this situation need to scrupulously review their past behavior in their relationship with their child (or children).  They must take full responsibility for their own actions, and openly admit their faults to their family. 

If there is a pathway to open communication, the parent should apologize and repent directly to the child (or children) whom they have hurt.  Additionally, whichever parent was responsible would need to promise to change the way that they relate to their adult child, so that in future the relationship would be based solely upon positive and healthy input from the parent.  Then the parent should pray for God’s grace and help in fulfilling this goal. 

Copious prayer is needed in this situation by both parents!  The offending parent should ask God to correct them, give them wisdom and insight, and to reveal what their child (or children) truly needs right now.  Praying for God’s peace to reign in the relationship is also key.

If there is no communication between parent and child, then the one hope and solution available to the parent is to continually pray for God to bring healing and reconciliation into the relationship between them and their child.  In this case, it is also good to ask God to reveal to the parent where they made mistakes and how they sinned against their child.  Repent wholeheartedly to God for whatever He reveals, and determine to change the behavior.  Read books on good parenting of adult children, and seek counseling if possible.  Counseling can come through licensed counselors, group counseling, pastors, psychologists, or 12-step programs such as AA. 

As followers of Jesus, we must seek peace in all of our relationships.  (Rom 12:18)  Parents never stop being parents, even after our children are grown.  So it is pleasing to God for us to continue to pray for our estranged adult children, and to ask God to bless them and to continue to protect them and to fulfill His will in their lives.  It would be wisdom to also pray earnestly for healing and for reconciliation in the relationship with the estranged child or children.  May God’s peace reign in your life and your family in Jesus’ name.

God Resists the Proud

God Resists the Proud

The Scriptures have a lot to say about pride.  Most of the verses and passages criticize and denounce pride.  There are many more verses on this topic in addition to those that I’ve shared below.

  • To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. (Prov 8:13 NIV)
  • When pride comes, then comes shame . . .  (Pro 11:2)
  • By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom. (Pro 13:10)
  • The Lord detests all the proud of heart. be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. (Pro 16:5 NIV)
  • Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.  (Pro 16:18-19)
  • But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  (Jas 4:6)

The Lord doesn’t want us to have a haughty and proud attitude towards other people.  He never approves of us feeling that we are better or more valuable than another individual.  This is the kind of pride that God sets Himself against because it puffs us up and blinds us to our own faults.  This is the pride that cuts us off from other people.  No one chooses to be around or to befriend a supercilious, self-important person.

We are allowed to recognize and receive satisfaction from our own work and our accomplishments as long as we recognize that they make us no more valuable than anyone else, and that God blessed us and enabled us to accomplish them.

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else . . .   (Gal 6:4 NIV)

The Bible says, I know that there is nothing better for people than to … find satisfaction in all their toil—this is a gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13).

The pride that cuts us off from other people displeases God because He has a different vision for His people.  His plan is for us to work in unity and harmony, carrying one another’s burdens, and serving Him with excellence and joy together.  (Rom 12:6; 1 Cor 13:4; Col 3:23; Gal 6:2-3)

An even worse outgrowth of poisonous pride is that it cuts us off from God, Himself!  When the enemy persuades us to be conceited and proud, we no longer feel that we need anyone else; so pride causes us to turn away from God. 

In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.  (Ps 10:4 NIV)  This is a catastrophic state of affairs. 

Rather, let us humbly thank God for giving us talents and abilities; and determine to use what we have received to bring glory and honor to God.