Your kids are on their own now. Perhaps they are well into their careers and raising their families. How do you keep up a meaningful relationship with them after they have left your home?
Relationships will change as circumstances change throughout life. When your children leave home, they are looking ahead to making their own way in the world. You will always be their parent, and though your relationship has changed, now you can nurture a lifelong friendship with them.
You can offer advice and counsel without being overbearing, but let them make their own choices about life.
That will take time and effort, because any meaningful relationship needs to be nurtured. This is where the Word of God offers guidance to help us. God’s Word contains the wisdom to deal with all our relationships, especially our relationship with God Himself.
God takes the long view with us. Even before the foundation of the world He determined to send His Son for our salvation (1 Peter 1:20 1 Peter 1:20Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
American King James Version×). Chances are, you will have a relationship with your adult children far longer than you had with them when they were young. Therefore, it is worth your time and effort to strengthen your unique, parental bond with them.
The kind of love that God has for us is described in these famous verses from 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 4 Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity braggs not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;
American King James Version×: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil.” To help you visualize how this applies to your relationship with your grown children, substitute your name for the word “love.”
As the Scripture reads, “love suffers long and is kind.” Longsuffering is another way of describing patience. Your children are going to make their own decisions about life. As a parent, you may often find yourself disagreeing with their choices. Here is where patience is needed.
You can offer advice and counsel without being overbearing, but let them make their own choices about life. They already have a pretty good idea of what you think, because they watched you for years. So let your life stand as a guide and example for them. If they struggle because of poor choices, you will have a better opportunity to help them if you are not meddlesome.
Like God shows us love by what He does for us, we show love with our actions. Notice: “Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18 1 John 3:18My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
American King James Version×). Therefore, be available to your children. Be aware of what is going on in their lives, and help them where you can.
Following the example of God’s love for us, you can build a relationship with your children that lasts a lifetime. Then, as the years go by, they will come to appreciate you more and more. A long and meaningful relationship with your children will be one of the greatest joys of your life.