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3 Reasons for Tensions between Adult Children and Parents

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When I was a child, my parents used to joke, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.” These words were meant to encourage and perhaps force you to learn to get along with your family because “friends come and go, but families don’t change.”

For some, the opposite is true. Friends were more like family than blood relatives. However, for the purposes here, I assume that family dynamics are relatively healthy people other than the occasional family squabble, especially the strains of navigating relationships with parents as adults with children of their own. speaking.

As believers who want to honor God throughout their lives, many adult Christians ponder ways to honor their parents as family roles and dynamics change, especially during major life changes such as marriage and having children. I’m here. Understanding the common reasons for tension and developing sound plans for resolution between adult children and their parents can help alleviate these normal family stressors.

Let’s look at three reasons for tension between adult children and their parents.

1. Disobeying the Biblical Role of Parents in Their Adult Children’s Lives

Full of early cockiness and attitude, I often heard my parents recite the fifth commandment. “Please honor your father and mother,” they said after a few blinks of an eye and a tap of their feet. If you grew up in a Christian home, you must have heard these words too.

But we are no longer boys and girls. Does this principle mean that as adults we must do everything our parents say? Otherwise, are you insulting your parents?

Let’s back up and see God’s original intentions for families. The home is a place where children learn to submit, respect and obey authority. In return, hopefully, they will receive love and protection. You will be able to.

Respecting your parents does not explicitly mean that you must obey all their wishes and orders. While we are taking care of our parents (that is, living under their roof), we must obey their rules, orders, and preferences (assuming they do not contradict the Word of God). hand). However, when they grow old and leave their homes, they bear the responsibilities and burdens of being adults.

of Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus describes the natural progression of children to adulthood. Will the father and mother be united with his wife, and will they become one body? If this is true, it is natural that once we have a life and a family of our own, the authority of our parents shifts from total authority to a source of wise counsel and guidance. and our ultimate authority will come from Christ.

As adult children, we can honor our parents by considering their concerns and advice, showing them respect, and striving to live in peace on our own terms. We hope that parents will recognize the change in authority in our lives and have great joy and gratitude to see their children walking in obedience to God. Such changes are difficult, and sometimes tensions are unavoidable. When such situations arise, it is important that parents maintain autonomy and accommodate new relationship dynamics such as spouses and children. Consider ways to respect and honor

2. Unrealistic expectations

Having unrealistic expectations is one of the biggest reasons relationships get strained. Familiarity with family relationships makes it more likely that these expectations will go unvoiced and be misunderstood. We all have different outcomes that we consider appropriate responses for different scenarios and situations. Of course, because they are our ideas, we sometimes mistakenly assume that everyone else will react the way we envisioned them. and conflict, or at least tension. Can you relate to any of the following scenarios?

Your parents have retired, creating extra time on your calendar. You are thrilled because you think this will lead them to help more children. After a few weeks I haven’t heard from them and I’m starting to get annoyed.

You and your spouse have offered to host an extended family Christmas at your home this year. You thought it would make it easier for your parents, but when they refuse small gatherings at home, you get upset.

Your parents have decided to invite your family to go on a big trip. They invited your family, so I thought they would cover the cost of the vacation. You become bitter when you find out that it becomes your responsibility.

One of the best ways to relieve tensions caused by unrealistic or unmet expectations is to stop imposing them on people. After many accidents with my preconceived notions of how people should react and my general desire for others to do things the way I do, I’m sure I realize that this is much easier said than done.

We can speak openly and honestly about our preferences and concerns. I understand that this is a difficult order for those who do not like conflict. But most of the time, venting your frustrations and sharing how you want things can prevent future misunderstandings. Communicating is a great starting point for managing unrealistic expectations.

3. Assume the worst quickly and are slow to forgive and forget

Assuming the worst can be a knee-jerk reaction when it comes to your relationship with your parents and in-laws. I immediately think it’s a shame for the family in general. Heaven help when exchanges are done by text or email! But why do we tend to assume the worst when it comes to those we love most? Most of us are much quicker to extend grace and understanding to friends and strangers than to relatives. It seems that.

As if assuming the worst for each other wasn’t enough, the conversations sometimes load up. Someone comments about good parenting, an ill-timed comment is made about someone’s financial situation, or a parent keeps making unsolicited suggestions. These things can heighten tensions, shut people down, and revitalize relationship tensions, making it harder to relate to each other and worsening forgiveness over time.

We have covered God’s original design for the family to model submission to authority. You can do the same for God’s family by learning to love unconditionally, forgive readily, and extend grace and mercy to them.

There are many reasons why tensions arise between adult children and their parents, but a few things are certain. Shifting powers, changing seasons, changing children entering adulthood, and aging parents cause tension in our families. The family unit is a blessing from God, as demonstrated by adopting into the family of love covers many sins (1 Peter 4:8), gives us the privilege of honoring our families.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Daisy-Daisy

Laura Bailey is a Bible teacher who challenges and encourages women to delve deep into the Bible, move from an earthly mindset to an eternal mindset, and filter their lives through the lens of God’s Word. I am a mom of a young girl.she writes a blog www.LauraRBailey.comconnect with her on Facebook and Instagram @LauraBaileyWrites

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