Who Defines When We Are Really Grown Up?

“Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8)

My wife and I were “Helicopter Parents.” Having a child of the Millennial Generation, like so many parents of our time, we hovered over our Millennial child, raising her carefully with much involvement in her life.

In the book “The Millennials” by Thom S. Rainer, and Jess W. Rainer, we are described quite well, as are the Millennial kids. In general the parents of Millennial children stay heavily involved in their lives well into adulthood, and the children want it that way.

The problem is, we were never meant to continue parenting these kids well into adulthood. Though we are always their parents, and they are always our kids, somewhere along the line we need to turn the parenting job over to God, because parenting adults is God’s job, not ours. As much as we might like at times to bring them home, send them to their room, ground them, guide them, and correct them, at a certain point in our lives and their lives we need to leave the correction and discipline in God’s capable hands.

Recently I was talking on the phone with my mother and she said something that struck me as a bit comical. She told me that only now, well into her sixties, has she finally begun to “grow up.” And I think it is true that throughout our lives, well into our adult years, we continue to “grow up”, to learn, grow in wisdom, grow by experience and by added knowledge. Sometimes God still corrects us when we get off track; He still teaches us the things we need to know to live good lives, the education never quite ends.

When we are afflicted it is tempting to think that God is correcting us for some perceived failing. But the fact is we often suffer for no other reason than that we live on this earth in frail bodies subject to pain and suffering. Nevertheless, God can teach us, and we can “grow up” through our suffering and hardship. We can gain wisdom and insight from the terrible events and difficult paths in our lives. When we have traveled the road of suffering we can help others along the way, and act as guides through the path of hardship.

God is our eternal parent no matter what our age. And we all have to “grow up”, some sooner, others later in life. But it is encouraging to know we have a loving Father who watches over us and guides us throughout our lives, and it is particularly wonderful to know this truth as we travel the path of affliction and hardship.

Whether you are a grown up, or a child when it comes to affliction, know that your heavenly Father is with you, watching over you, and willing to help you along the difficult paths you face in life. Do not despair, and do not be discouraged, whether sixteen or sixty there is a Father who loves and cares for you. Allow Him to direct and strengthen you as you continue to “grow up”.

Prayer: Dear Lord, as parents and children we face many challenges. And when we walk the path of affliction, it is then that we especially need Your
guidance. Amen.

About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He has found that the only thing more difficult than being a parent is “growing up” as an adult.

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Do you find that it is sometimes difficult to “grow up”, especially while facing affliction? Have you considered that God is Your Father, always watching over you, and ready to guide you?

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