When you become the mother of adult children, it is very difficult to distinguish boundaries. I am a work in progress. Asking myself and God continually when to “speak up” and be mom and when mom needs to remain “silent.” Having the experience, “gray” hair, that our kids don’t have…the big question I have for God all the time is, “Is this a lesson they need to learn for themselves or should I say something?” They will never ever have more years of experience than me.
God’s response varies. Sometimes He moves me to speak up and at other times I know I need to “remain silent”. To be honest, I have had a “bleeding tongue” at times from biting it so that I didn’t say a word. And often times…my tongue needs a lasso! Because I am learning and this is new for me, having adult kids, I pray about this every day! I am in “new, uncharted water!”
A few months ago, after speaking to one of our three children, the response was, “Mom, I just want you to be my mom.” I was perplexed. I pondered that one for a while…and prayed about it. In some ways I got it. The message I was delivering wasn’t very pleasant and probably, on my part, had been delivered one too many times. They just wanted me to listen.
With that being said, I have prayed much about asking God to help me distinguish when to speak and when not to. Wise people in my life have varied on their advice to me. As I have continued to pray and read scripture, I am convinced that before I speak, I sincerely need to pray more…and be “quick to listen and slow to speak”.
But the one thing I do know….as desperately as I want to be our young adult children’s friend…I will be held accountable for what kind of “mother” I was to our children NOT what kind of friend.
So I encourage you with this if you are a parent of adult children: pray continually for opportunities for them to learn things from others. For God, who can and who will, to bring people into their lives to demonstrate principles and truths to them. Proverbs 4:1-5 gives great advice. “Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding; For I give you good doctrine: do not forsake my law. When I was my father’s son, tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, he also taught me, and said to me: ‘Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live. Get wisdom! Get understanding!…'”
I have encouraged our kids to go to my close friends and seek their counsel. At times they have and it has been a wonderful thing. I do not want Proverbs 30:11 to be true of the next generation in our family. “There is a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother.” Currently I am seeking to live to be the person I desire for our kids to become. Yes, living and being the person you would like for them to become is the greatest thing you can do.
ACTIONS are what they buy!
Actions don’t have words. Doing is much better than saying! As a parent…you still need to use your words…but seek God in using them and in the timing of them.
Through prayer, and at a non-conflict time, God did impress upon me to go back to the child that just wanted me to be their mom. I showed them the scripture on which I base my mothering which is found in Deuteronomy 6:5-8.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. IMPRESS them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates,” [emphasis added].
After sharing with them, I received a hug. :o) God’s word never ever returns void!