5. “I support you/your decision.”
Gaining a parent’s approval is important for adult children. As mentioned before, there is a constant tug-of-war between adult children making their own choices and wanting their parents to approve the choices made. Yet, there will be times when the best choice for the child may not be met with parental support. In these moments, parents must be willing to step back to support their child, even when they don’t agree with a decision.
The exception to this would be if the child is actively living a lifestyle that is sinful. The parent can love the child without loving their choices. Even still, treating the adult child with genuine care, regardless of their decisions, is what creates tight bonds and a place of safety. When parents choose anger and separation when their children make choices they don’t agree with, this is a form of manipulation. Not only is this hurtful, but it can also destroy the parent-child relationship. When in doubt, parents should choose to use kind words, even when they are not happy with the choices being made.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:4)
6. “I love you.”
The words “I love you” can bring joy and healing. Beyond the words, actions that correspond with love mean so much more. In a world where so many feel rejected, a parent’s love should be a constant. Much like God’s love is unconditional, adult children should never feel like they need to perform or compete to gain their parent’s affection. According to the article, “5 Ways to Express Your Love to an Adult Child,” parents can show genuine love to their adult children in these five ways:
1. Thinking before they speak.
2. By not acting like the center of their adult child’s world.
3. By having a soft approach
4. By not choosing quietness over giving advice
5. By apologizing
We must remember that love is an action word. The more parents can foster an environment of love, the better their relationship will be with their adult children.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)
7. "How can I pray for you?”
Offering to pray for someone shows that you care for them and what they are going through. Even more so, knowing that you have a parent who is seeking the Lord on your behalf is an amazing feeling. This reminds adult children that they are not alone and that they have a parent who trusts God.
There may be times parents don’t have the words to say or the solutions. However, the Lord knows all and can move in any situation. One great way parents can support their children is behind the scenes in prayer. Coupled with genuine love and tangible support, this can create lasting relationships between adult children and their parents.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Parental Approval and the Adult Child
5 Ways to Express Your Love to an Adult Child
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