I went out to have pie with a friend. We rarely get a chance to connect, and I think it was a couple years since our last visit. We had a great time, but we ventured into talking of one of her adult children.
Her oldest daughter is in extreme rebellion. She’s an adult and out of the home, so there isn’t turmoil going on in the household, but the pain of the separation lingers. The daughter is the oldest of several children. Life could be so joyful and rewarding for her, but she instead chooses a life of paper-thin friendships, parties, and vulgar sin.
I hope I encouraged her by helping her to ponder the here and now, the parenting within our influence. We have several children still within our care, and we can pour love on them. We want the children to know our homes as homes of love. They are appreciated and never taken for granted. There is Love in the House, and we want them to find comfort and joy, especially when they are grown and on their own.
Sometimes older children can be a heartbreak to the family, especially when we feel like the 18+ years of hard work was for nothing. My friend was experiencing this heartache firsthand. But there is encouragement in the trial. Once the adult child is on his or her own, the home settles down and the hard work of loving the other children starts up again.
Stay firm, learn from the mistakes you may have made with the older children, and pour this wisdom on the children that are in your care.
1. Love them, give many hugs a day and say “I love you.” Say this while looking into their eyes.
2. Accept them for who God has made them to be. They could be hurt over the older siblings and now is when they need you to just love them, to comfort them.
3. Let them know you are for them. Don’t cancel their activities because of the actions of the oldest. Keep to the schedule, a schedule that rewards a family that sticks together.
Still keep your adult children in prayer. God will take care of them. Trust that He will. And focus on the children He has entrusted to you now.