Parenting as an adult is not an easy job. It requires dedication, commitment and a lot of hard work, regardless of how old your children are. But when you get right down to it, there is a sense of humility that comes with the convictions and responsibilities of parenting. As such, many parents turn to the Bible for guidance and perspective.So, what does the Bible say about parenting adults?
The overall message from the Bible is that parents should be responsible for their children, guiding them, teaching them, and giving them direction. As God commanded Adam and Eve, we have a responsibility to “care for and protect” our children. For example, Proverbs 6:20-22 states, “My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck.” According to the Bible, parents must teach, encourage and train their children to be successful adults.
In Ephesians 6:4, it is written, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Parents must recognize that they have a special responsibility to cultivate character in their children’s lives and give them a firm foundation based on the Word of God. According to the Bible, it is essential to nurture a strong relationship of trust between parent and child while also teaching them important life lessons and values.
The Bible also encourages compassion when parenting adults. Ephesians 6:25-27 exhorts us to “encourage, strengthen and fortify one another with love” and in Colossians 3:12, we are reminded to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” These verses serve as a reminder that parenting does not always have to be a disciplinarian approach, but that parents have a responsibility to inspire, encourage, and support their adult children in their trials and tribulations – no matter their age.
Many parents also struggle with expectations and boundaries when parenting adults. In 1 Timothy 4:12-15, it states, “(…) let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” It is important to set boundaries and expectations while fostering a relationship of trust and understanding. It is also essential to remember that adults are accountable for their own decisions and parental expectations should not be too strict. Parents also need to accept the fact that as their children become adults, they need more independence and freedom in order to learn from their own mistakes.
God calls us to honor, respect, and care for our children, no matter their age. The Bible is full of verses that serve as a reminder that parenting adults is important and necessary for their growth and development. Despite the challenges of parenting adults, it is important to remember that with prayer, patience, and love, a healthy and positive relationship between parent and adult child can be achieved.
Encouragement and Guidance
The Bible teaches us to support and encourage our adult children in their exploration of faith, values, and dreams. Life is full of ups and downs, and in Deuteronomy 11:18-20 we find that the Bible is explicit in its instruction to “impress them on your children.” Parents are to demonstrate the importance of their faith by taking their adult children to church, praying together, and discussing how the Bible relates to daily life and decisions while nurturing a strong relationship of trust and understanding. Furthermore, parents must teach their adult children the value of healthy relationships, respect, and compassion. Parenting adults includes encouraging them in their educational and occupational pursuits and providing guidance when necessary.
It is important for parents to be patient with their adult children and remember that teaching does not always mean preaching. Kids learn from having meaningful conversations, so it is important to have a good understanding of their goals and dreams. Parenting adults requires a different type of approach, so it is important to find the balance between providing guidance without pushing your child too harshly. Parents should be attentive to their adult children’s thoughts, feelings, and ideas and provide gentle guidance along the way.
In Proverbs 22:6, we hear: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” This verse serves as a reminder that parents have an important job in helping their adult children become responsible, reliable adults. As they grow and mature, they need our love and guidance to ensure they make the right decisions throughout their life.
Accountability and Support
A key part of parenting adults is teaching them about accountability and responsibility for their actions. It is important for adult children to understand that there will be consequences for their decisions, both good and bad. Parents should provide guidance and teach their adult children appropriate moral values to support them in making good decisions. The Bible teaches us that with consequences come accountability, and it is important to be firm but compassionate when applicable.
Parents also have a responsibility to provide emotional and physical support whenever needed. It is important to be a source of love and comfort, but also a source of strength and stability. When times get tough, our adult children need somebody to turn to that they can trust and feel safe with. The Bible instructs us in Hebrews 13:5 that “God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” This is an important reminder that no matter what our adult children are facing, God will never abandon them. Parents should strive to instill this sense of safety, security, and comfort in their adult children.
It is also important for parents to be a source of continued encouragement for their adult children. Psalm 37:7 instructs: “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” This is a reminder that sometimes patience is necessary in encouraging our adult children in their pursuits. No matter what path they choose, parents should strive to provide unconditional love and support, while teaching them the importance of following God’s word.
Setting Standards and Boundaries
Parents must also set standards and boundaries for their adult children. This includes teaching them to make wise decisions, practice healthy habits, stay away from vice, and make responsible choices. This can be difficult at times, especially when parents feel like they are expected to control their adult children’s behavior. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that they are safe, healthy, and set up for success.
In Colossians 3:21, the Bible states, “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” This verse serves as a reminder that punishment and discipline should be balanced with love and understanding. Parents should strive to maintain clear communication and expectations while also creating an environment of acceptance, understanding, and trust.
The Bible also provides guidance in maintaining healthy relationships with our adult children. Ephesians 4:31-32 instructs parents to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” This serves as a reminder that it is important to talk and listen to our adult children with love, understanding, and respect.
Equipping for Life’s Journey
Finally, it is important for parents to equip their adult children for life’s journey. We know from the Bible that God is with us throughout our life’s journey, but it is important for parents to also be there to support and guide their adult children. In Joshua 1:9, we hear: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Parents should strive to instill a sense of courage and confidence in their adult children in order to prepare them for the future.
In Proverbs 23:24, it states, “The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.” This verse serves as a reminder that parenting adults can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Although it takes commitment and dedication, it is important to recognize the joy and satisfaction of parenting adults. God’s ultimate plan for us is to continually strive for wisdom and knowledge and as parents, we are called to help our adult children fulfill this goal.
Another important aspect of parenting adults is recognizing the importance of realistic expectations and understanding that our adult children may not always make the same decisions or share the same values that we do. Arbitrary expectations or assumptions about our adult children can be damaging and lead to tension and hurt feelings. It is important to always create an open line of communication and strive to remain mindful of our expectations and wishes for them. As the Bible states in Proverbs 3:13-14, parents should “neither be wise in your own eyes nor be bitter against your adult children.”
It is also important to recognize that our adult children will most likely have different personalities and strengths than ours. As Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 states, “Do not let any kind of sharp-tongued talk come from your mouth, for the Lord will make you pay for it.” Parenting adults includes providing love and acceptance, while respecting and honoring the unique gifts and strengths that God has blessed them with.
In addition, it is important to remember that our adult children are responsible for their own decisions. As parents, it is our job to provide guidance and support while leaving room for mistakes and growth. This can be a difficult balance to maintain, but Ephesians 4:15 reminds us, “… speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” Parenting adults is ultimately about grace, patience and understanding.
Ultimately, the most important thing a parent can do when parenting adults is to foster a strong relationship of trust and communication. Open and honest communication can be the key to a successful relationship between parent and adult child.
Proverbs 15:23 states, “A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word!” It is important to have honest conversations with our adult children and create a safe space for them to express their thoughts and feelings. Parents should make themselves available to their adult children and listen carefully in order to find ways to encourage and support them.
Proverbs 4:6 admonishes us to “Listen, my son, and be wise, and guide your heart on the right path.” This is an important reminder that it is our job as parents to provide life-giving words and guidance to our adult children. As they grow and mature, we must strive to be available and open to them, providing guidance and wisdom whenever needed.
Ultimately, parenting adults can be a difficult but