Adult children — a conundrum, no?
I’m not sure when I crossed over from Parenting Those Little Ones Who Obviously Need All the Help They Can Get — to — I’m Still Your Parent But I Guess You Don’t Really Want To Hear Every Wise Thought That Crosses My Brain.
What happened? And when?
For those of you who have suddenly found yourself in the broken-eggshell world of parenting (sort-of, kind-of, emerging) adult children, you may need God’s Word more than ever. I forget my girls are no longer three years old, and when I do forget, they are quick to remind me. Sometimes it hurts my feelings. Sometimes I hurt feelings back (I am three years old.)
The first verse that came to mind was: Pick your battles. (Isn’t that a verse?) Actually, stop your battles. Your little ones are now big people and you can’t control their responses, their reactions, their lives. You can only control your own life, with God’s help. Romans 12:18 – “As far as it depends on me, I will live at peace with all people.” Good one, yes?
Some scriptures on the list refer to what we pray for our kids; others deal with how we are to act and live “alongside” our new grown-up’s who look a little bit like us, but not altogether.
I listed 15 verses so you can choose one a day and then, halfway through the month, start again. Or pick a favorite and put it to memory. If you’re an emerging old person (like me) you may have trouble sleeping—reciting God’s word in the night can be the best Tylenol PM.
And of course, If you don’t find your special verse, feel free to share in the comments.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15: 9-13)
No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you. (Psalm 33:16-22)
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:15)
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:18-19)
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:14-18)
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:12-15)
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (I Thessalonians 5:11)
The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4)
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:26-28)
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:17-18)
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (II Corinthians 10:3-5)
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. (John 17:15)