I recently spoke with a parent of adult children who claimed that since their children were grown up now, they have taught them all they can teach them. I have to say that I don’t agree with this mentality and don’t believe it is biblical thinking.
Yes, it is true that after a certain age your child will make their own choices whether you like them or not but it does not mean that you get a free ticket out of parenting. You will always be that child’s parent no matter how old they get. They may not like what you have to say or choose to follow your advice, but you can still lead by example and be a wellspring of wisdom for them in tough life situations.
Even grown children are watching what their parents are doing and are impacted by their decisions.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
4 Fathers,do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:1-4)
Neither of these verses say “until your child is 18”. We should always honor our parents in the Lord, and as parents we should always lead our children in a Christ like way.
My 22 month old daughter watches and imitates everything I say and do. An adult child may not imitate everything you do but they are still effected by your choices and behavior.
Like I mentioned earlier, we never stop being parents.Being a parent as a child grows older simply looks different and changes. We may no longer necessarily have direct control of the situations that arise in the lives of our children, but we continue to be parents by offering Godly counsel and direction.
By living like Christ and leading by example we continue to parent even our adult children.
Saying your parenting doesn’t matter anymore simply because your child is now an adult is lazy parenting. It says I am off the hook now, and it says that you no longer care about what happens to your child.
Parenting is a forever commitment. What would happen if Jesus one day said he was not our Father anymore because we were no longer children in the faith? That would be a scary and sad thing. Instead Jesus continues to parent us even as we mature in the faith, why would parenting our children be any different?
Parenting does not end.