Supporting Our Children—Now That They’re Grown
- Written by Nancy Williams, LPC
I’ve been writing a book for parents whose children have become adults. Perhaps you fit that description, as I do. Or, you may have young adults in your life that you care about. Our adult children face numerous challenges as they embrace this new life passage, and we want to support them in every way possible. We can offer wise counsel and help when asked. We can step aside and encourage them to take responsibility for their lives as we establish healthy roles and boundaries. We can offer praise and excitement in their victories and comfort in their losses. Yet, the most powerful gift of love we can give is to lift them up in prayer to God who ultimately has their lives in His hands. It is our greatest privilege and our utmost responsibility as parents and caring adults. I remember praying for my children during those first few days of their newborn lives as I looked ahead with hopes and dreams for them. I prayed when they started school as I considered the people who would influence them—both teachers and friends. My prayers for them stepped up considerably when they began driving and as they dealt with the challenges of being a teenager. Then they stepped into the role of adult as they began building their own lives. And I now realize how little control I have over their choices and futures. I know that the opportunities, challenges and decisions are greater than ever before, and the only way they can successfully manage them will be with God’s help. So, I continue to pray for them. Our children need God’s wisdom to make the right choices for their lives. They need His protection from temptations that would distract them from the path God has planned for them. They need a keen awareness of His presence and the comfort of His promises as they face success and failure, joy and sorrow. They need the support we can offer as we bring our praises and petitions for them to the Lord. And we need the comfort of knowing that while they are in control of their own lives, we still have a vital part to play by praying for them. When we talk to God about our children, we feel a sense of partnership with Him. We share our heart and ask Him to intervene, and He reminds us of His love for them and His desire to work in their lives. As we listen to Him, we grow in our understanding of Him and deepen our faith in His love, His mercy, His grace and His power. Perhaps you’ve been praying for your children since they were born. Or maybe you began after a key event in their lives. You may be at a place now where you recognize the power and the potential that is available to you and your children and you want to begin praying for them. The opportunity is ours to show our love for them by talking to God about them and listening as He shares His heart with us. When we have concerns about them, we can place our hope in God’s promise: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). We cannot control our adult children’s lives or their choices, but God can guide their steps, as long as their hearts are open to Him. In order for us to pray for them confidently, we must believe that God loves them and that His power to hear and answer our prayers is greater than any problems they may experience. We need to pray and trust God to work, believing He knows what is best and is at work in their lives, even when we don’t understand what’s happening. With those beliefs we’ll find the hope that will guide our thoughts and guard our hearts as we carry our concerns for our children to the Lord. So, let’s pray for them in a way that honors God, supports our children, and strengthens our own spiritual life. Nancy Williams, LPC is a Licensed Counselor, Life Coach, Speaker and Writer. Send comments to her at www.nancywilliams.net.