Healing Relationships With Our Adult Children


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Healing Relationships With Our Adult Children

  By Gail M. King

Gail King Ministries P.O. Box 146766, Chicago, IL 60614 800-764-1026 GailKing.com [email protected]

 

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Healing Relationships With Our Adult Children by Gail M. King  

 

Healing Relationships With Adult Children Psalm 127:3, NLT Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. What Was God’s Purpose For The Family Unit? Our families are one of our greatest treasures. God created families to continue His Name, His righteousness and His kingdom. Additionally, the family unit provides love, protection, help and provision for one another. However, when Satan divides a family, he is able to strip away God’s blessings that we receive through these relationships. Parents care for children when the children are young, but God expects children to lovingly watch over their parents as they age. It is within the context of family that God expands the Kingdom of God. Adult Children Are A Priceless Treasure One area of family that I want to address in this message is the relationship between parents and adult children. A popular author named Larry Winget wrote a book called, “Your Children Are Your Own Fault.” Many would agree and many would disagree with his book title. When children turn out well, parents take the praise, but when we have challenges with our children, we usually say it is the child’s fault. Children too, often blame their parents for various deficiencies the child is experiencing in life, but I find that children are often more willing to admit that they have made grave mistakes. I believe that adult children are one of our families and communities greatest assets. Even if they are not perfect, it is a huge mistake to label them as Black Sheep, ignore them and cut them off. There are exceptions, but generally, my experience has been that young adults are brilliant and have great ideas even when they didn’t pursue advanced education. They are enormously helpful in almost any situation and can be great conversationalists. I realize that this has not been the experience of every parent, but I’m speaking as much about our children’s potential as I am about their demonstration. Even if we’ve lost touch with a child, we must never cease praying that god will restore them to us in health.

  Gail  King  Ministries   P.O. Box 146766, Chicago, IL 60614, 800-764-1026, PromisesChurch.com

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Healing Relationships With Our Adult Children by Gail M. King  

  Adult Children In The Bible King David was Israel’s greatest king. He married many woman and as a result had many sons and daughters. David’s son Solomon became the wealthiest and wisest king that ever lived. However, his other son Absalom, killed his half brother in revenge and attempted to murder David to succeed him on the throne. Filled with the love of God, King David implored his soldiers to spare Absalom’s life, but they ignored him and killed Absalom (2 Samuel 13-14). The Bible says of his other son Adonijah (1 Kings 1:6 NLT), “Now his father, King David, had never disciplined him at any time, even by asking, “Why are you doing that?” It is a grave mistake to neglect teaching or disciplining our children. Scripture warns us, ”He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:24, NKJV). If we fail to teach or discipline young children, we know that they will eventually suffer and if we love them, we will suffer too. The great patriarchs of the Bible, such as David and Jacob, had unruly adult children and some of their children (like Cain) became murderers. As long as humans have existed, some children have rebelled against and even despised their parents. In the Old Testament, God’s Law commanded that unruly disrespectful children must be put to death (Deuteronomy 21:18-21), and in the Ten Commandments God promised to bless children with a long good life if they honored their father and mother. Therefore, the Word of God is clear on children’s moral obligation to respect and be kind to their parents. Unfortunately, many adult children believe that they have no obligation to respect or care for their parents unless their parents respect and love them. They believe that they should reward their parents based on the parent’s performance. This is the world’s way of doing things and that is not love at all. Proverbs 30:17, NLT The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother’s instructions will be plucked out by ravens of the valley and eaten by vultures. As parents, we must do our best to share God’s Word with our children for their sake and ours. God considers children a great blessing and He is watching how they are trained, how they treat us and how we treat them. Additionally, the Word of God warns Fathers, “Do not make your children angry” (Colossians 3:21). Today, it applies to mothers too since many children are fatherless.   Gail  King  Ministries   P.O. Box 146766, Chicago, IL 60614, 800-764-1026, PromisesChurch.com

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Healing Relationships With Our Adult Children by Gail M. King  

  We make them angry by disrespecting them and by being a bad example. Children learn control through observation. Who Is To Blame For Dysfunctional Children? Today, modern psychology has uncovered many complex reasons why children become alienated from their parents and antisocial. However, the Bible traces the problem to just one source – sin. When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve the family as a unit became corrupted and through their parent’s sin nature, children became corrupt. It is only through Jesus that we receive righteousness and a new spirit. The Good News that Jesus Christ ushered in is that everyone who is reconciled to God through Him automatically reverses the curse that sin placed on mankind. That person can live under the blessings of God which flow to their children, especially when they teach them God’s ways. There are exceptions, but the primary reason we see so many unruly children in the church is because they have not received a personal revelation of Christ. A child cannot succeed indefinitely from his mother’s faith; in order to live a victorious life, he must know and reverence God himself. It is counterproductive to spend time placing the blame on circumstances, parents or the children themselves. Each case is slightly different and only God Himself knows what truly went awry. In most families, there are generations of ignorance, poor communication, abandonment and abusive behaviors that attributed to the downward spiral of an adult child. Even so, I want to mention a few of the most prevalent mistakes that parents sometimes make that attribute greatly to losing communication with our child and losing the ability to live and interact with them in a healthy manner. Matthew 5:43-48 (Jesus Speaking) “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

  Gail  King  Ministries   P.O. Box 146766, Chicago, IL 60614, 800-764-1026, PromisesChurch.com

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Healing Relationships With Our Adult Children by Gail M. King  

  Behaviors Parents Should Avoid Colossians 3:21, NLT Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged. As parents, we should avoid harming our children in the following ways. 1) Being a bad example by having no regard for God or His laws, disrespecting them, cursing, losing our tempers 2) Being negative, critical and overly judgmental of them 3) Nagging adult children 4) Lording ourselves over them 5) Refusing to listen to them when they talk or share ideas 6) Forgetting to praise them often and celebrate their accomplishments 7) Refusing to emotionally support their life dreams 8) Forgetting to tell them how wonderful they are 9) Deliberately saying hurtful things to them 10) Making unrealistic, unreasonable demands on them 11) Rejecting their children and disrespecting their children’s other parent and/or in-laws 12) Thinking only of ourselves, selfishness 13) Using guilt trips to control them 14) Refusing to apologize when we know we are wrong 15) Refusing to acknowledge and apologize for past child abuse & neglect to bring closure and clear the air 16) Expecting children to live out our dreams and vocational choices 17) Refusing to love each child for who he or she really is and comparing a child to his sibling or any other person in a negative way 18) Refusing to forgive our children immediately when they make a mistake or even hurt us 19) Encouraging young adults to live immorally or commit crimes to support us 20) Not valuing our relationship with our child enough to control our tongue 21) Placing money, boyfriends, girlfriends and careers before our children 22) Making them feel as if they don’t matter 23) Making them feel as if they are always in the way 24) Saying negative things about them to their face and sowing discord in the family by running them down to others out of vengeance 25) Overworking them to further our own dreams and aspirations with little or no regard for theirs 26) Criticizing their body (in front of others) if they are overweight or underweight 27) Not paying any attention to the fact that they are troubled 28) Refusing to participate in their emotional wellness and recovery   Gail  King  Ministries   P.O. Box 146766, Chicago, IL 60614, 800-764-1026, PromisesChurch.com

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Healing Relationships With Our Adult Children by Gail M. King  

  Family members have a mutual obligation to one another. 1 Timothy 5:8, KJV But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Most parents have made a few of the above-mentioned mistakes. However, God looks at our motives and He knows whether we are responding to a child out of unconditional love, selfishness, greed or vengeance. When a child has a rough childhood and consequently turns out to have a horrible dysfunctional relationship with us, there are several ways that we can heal the relationship and win back our child. I firmly believe that a parent has the ability to have a loving relationship with his son or daughter if he or she commits to the process. Additionally, I believe that at the heart of dysfunctional relationships is a disconnect with God. All our relationships with other people flow from our relationship with God. When we love, reverence and respect God, it has a profound impact on how we treat others. As we become more intimate with Christ, we have greater compassion, even on those who offend us. Matthew 5:23, NLT “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. Healing Begins With The Father, The Son & The Holy Spirit In college I studied psychology, but the problem with psychology is that it has no spiritual power. In psychology, we attempt to heal people through behavior modification and by teaching them fancy theories. If a person spends 10 years in therapy, he could make less progress that if he simply gave his life to Jesus and was baptized. When we come to God, there is a spiritual transformation that cannot be explained. It is supernatural. In addition, prayer changes circumstances. In the midst of dysfunctional parent-child relationships are spiritual problems that only God can completely heal. Psychology teaches people to behave a little differently, but it does not cleanse their hearts, cleanse their minds or actually empower them to overcome defeating behaviors.   Gail  King  Ministries   P.O. Box 146766, Chicago, IL 60614, 800-764-1026, PromisesChurch.com

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Healing Relationships With Our Adult Children by Gail M. King  

  God draws us to Himself to love us, and through the blood of Jesus Christ we are completely cleansed of unrighteousness. Then, God’s Holy Spirit actually enables us to desire a better life, to overcome addictions and to express the love of God toward others. Even healthy family members get a little exasperated with family every now and then, but it does not escalate and we quickly recover because of the deep mutual bonds of respect and love that we share. However, when Christians fail to walk in love with family (as a pattern) over a long period of time, it is indicative of a spiritual problem that could be easily remedied through faith in the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. The Holy Spirit enabled me and empowered me to make decisions, deal with people from a position of patience and love. Until I consciously received the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, I was not able to change. What God wanted to do in my life was not possible through psychology or through my own willpower, intellect and flesh. Most of us have heard heartbreaking news of parents killing their children and reports of children killing and abusing their parents. In my personal study, I find that it does not always take two people to start the healing in a relationship. Even one person walking with God in faith, can stop a mess and begin the healing process. Practical Steps To Healing Relationships With Adult Children As parents, here are ways we can have loving relationships with our adult children and undo the damage of the past. 1) GOD’S LOVE: We must improve our own relationship with God. Specifically, we must pray for a revelation of how much God loves us and how He has never left us. As we allow God to love us, it becomes easy to share that love with others. We cannot give (love) that we don’t possess. This step cannot be skipped! 2) PRAYER: Jesus changes our relationships through our relationship with Him. God fills us with His Holy Sprit and power, Christ changes our minds and hearts and He allows His love to flow freely through us. The entire transformation begins with faith and prayer. As we cease our complaining and humble ourselves before God in prayer, our entire world changes. The prayers of God’s children have great power!   Gail  King  Ministries   P.O. Box 146766, Chicago, IL 60614, 800-764-1026, PromisesChurch.com

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Healing Relationships With Our Adult Children by Gail M. King  

  3) COMMITMENT: We must have a commitment to our relationship with our child. We cannot allow their mistakes or bad judgment to convince us to give up on them. Our Father God never gave up on us. Jesus died for us. We must value or children. We cannot let money; outside people and hearsay destroy our family relationships. 4) LOVING GESTURES: We must outwardly and often express love to our children by telling them that we love them and showing them random acts of kindness. 5) FORGIVENESS: We must quickly forgive our children and refuse to relive mistakes or keep blaming which only refuels arguments. 6) HUMILITY: Even as parents, we must walk in humility! When we are wrong, we should stay we are wrong. We must take time to listen to our children’s ideas, dreams and aspirations. If our adult children are offended because they were abused or mistreated, we must acknowledge their viewpoint and apologize when we used bad judgment. In a safe setting, alone or with a trusted mediator, we should have an honest talk when possible to clear the air without blaming or arguing. Children are healed enormously by understanding why we made some of our poor decisions. 7) PLANNING: We must give deep thought to how we can interact with adult children pleasantly 100% of the time. We can omit arguing, debating, criticism and blaming. When possible, we should agree on how to handle tense situations in the future to restore the peace and balance. Experiencing pleasant conversations and experiences with them must be a priority. Why Is It So Difficult To Heal Parent-Child Relationships? James 4:6, NLT …“God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” It can be challenging to heal dysfunctional relationships between parents and children in three cases. 1) LOVE: This bears repeating. If we do not stay filled with the love of God, we will fail in our attempts to share His love with others. God’s love must be received at a conscious level by believers through an impartation of the Holy Spirit and through meditation on the Word of God. 2) COMMITMENT: We cannot have a healthy relationship with a difficult or challenging person without committing to the process. When we keep falling away and getting angry again, it could be a sign that we have not truly committed to God’s command to forgive quickly and walk in love.   Gail  King  Ministries   P.O. Box 146766, Chicago, IL 60614, 800-764-1026, PromisesChurch.com

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Healing Relationships With Our Adult Children by Gail M. King  

  3) HUMILITY: It is impossible for us to lay down offense if we do not repeatedly humble ourselves before God to the point where we are willing to forgive anyone for anything - simply because God forgave us. As we meditate on God’s mercy toward us, we realize how senseless it is to condemn anyone. Romans 14:10, NLT So why do you condemn another believer ? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. Romans 14:13, NLT So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. 1 John 4:20, NKJV If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? It is a myth that we cannot have a functional relationship with people unless they change. When we change, they are inevitably forced to change. God primarily changes others by first changing us. If we are easily offended, others offend us more. When we are not easily offended, Satan has to find another target. Kenneth Hagin Senior said these famous words, “No man can offend me.” That was powerful! I will never forget that statement. In other words, he had drawn a line in the dust (with Satan) and was determined to walk in love with everyone. Walking in love with others is not dependant on their behavior! As parents, we make many mistakes while we raise children. I too, made many, many mistakes while raising my children. I could have spent more quality time with them. I could have been a better example and I could have created more of a family atmosphere around dinner, even though I was a single mom. I thank God that by His mercy he sent them a great grandmother and many other strong role models. I truly give Father God, Jesus and His Holy Spirit all the glory for their mental health and success. I am totally convinced that the parents I’ve met who struggle in communication with their children could turn these relationships around if they commit to God and their children. It’s very much like a marriage. If we struggle in communication with a spouse, we can only rectify the situation by the grace of God and commitment to the process.   Gail  King  Ministries   P.O. Box 146766, Chicago, IL 60614, 800-764-1026, PromisesChurch.com

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Healing Relationships With Our Adult Children by Gail M. King  

  Christ is the one who gives us the love that we share and it’s only by His Holy Spirit that we can forgive quickly, turn from anger and love unconditionally. Prayer “Father God, we thank you for your unconditional love. We thank you for sending Jesus Christ as our role model. We ask that you open our eyes and give us a revelation of your great love and mercy toward us so that we can share it with our family members and others, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.” Bible Study Questions for Reflection 1) Are you able to quickly forgive the difficult people in your family? 2) Do you meditate on how much God loves you? 3) Do you meditate on how much you were forgiven? 4) Do you remember the encouraging Word of God when people disappoint you? Suggestions For Powerful Christian Living 1) Make your family a commitment that you are willing to humble yourself for. 2) Pray daily for anyone who has offended you. Allow God to change your heart first. Never give up. 3) Say what Kenneth Hagin Senior said and mean it. “No man can offend me!” By Gail M. King, PromisesChurch.com Copyright Acknowledgements New Living Translation (NLT) Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  Gail  King  Ministries   P.O. Box 146766, Chicago, IL 60614, 800-764-1026, PromisesChurch.com