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Wisdom for Parenting Adult Children

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5 ESV

Heavenly Father, we begin this day celebrating your measureless generosity. You are the Father who gave his own Son that we might become your beloved daughters and sons—fully forgiven, thoroughly known, always desired, and sovereignly protected. Hallelujah, many times over!

And your generosity extends to every area of life—to every arena and sphere of life in which you’ve placed us. Today we appeal to you for wisdom in parenting our adult kids. They’re no longer 2 but 20-somethings; not delightful 3 year olds but complex 30 year olds; not 4 but 40, and counting. As the quintessential parent, bring your Word, Spirit, and grace to bear, loving Father. Help us love well in every season of life, as parents.

More than anything else, we pray you will give our kids a vital and robust relationship with Jesus. More so than a Harvard education, a fulfilling career, great health, economic success—and a bunch of other wonderful creature comforts, reveal the glory and grace of Jesus to them. For those who once walked closely with you, but are now indifferent or even antagonistic to the faith, O God of resurrection and renewal, restore the joy of their salvation and intimacy with yourself.

Father, for the ways we have contradicted the gospel and withheld your grace—parenting by fear and control, pride and guilt, being overbearing or under-engaged… forgive us. We grieve our sins. We humble ourselves. Our cry is for mercy, not for a second chance. Your name is Redeemer, not Re-Doer. You promise to restore years eaten away by the locusts; surely you can redeem the years eaten away by less than gospel-shaped parenting.

Grant us thick skin and big hearts for the years ahead, Father. Show us what we need to “own” with our kids—without defensiveness and excuse making. Show us what healthy boundaries look like with them—how to honor our kids and respect their individuality. Free us from living in the past and listening to the accusations of the enemy; and free us for a new season of waiting on you and loving to your glory. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.

 

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