Adult Children 101

By Brenda Jank

Run Hard. Rest Well., at its core, is about relationship. Our relationship with those we love, those we don’t, those God
sends our way, and God himself.

Cultivating healthy relationships is some of the hardest, most important work of our lives. It regularly lowers us to our knees and takes us to the heights. Our relationship with others is a journey of love, truth, and being much more concerned about the log in our own eye than that of the speck in another.

Tim and I have been blessed with five of God’s finest. The seven of us probably hold a record—I would think—as some of the feistiest people ever assembled under one roof. With our crew of adult children now 20 to 27, I began a new practice this summer.

You see … they are each on their own journey and mama is only along for the ride. If I ever sat in the driver’s seat, I surely do not now. If 54 years of life have taught me anything, it is this: there is only One who should occupy the driver’s seat of our lives. If this is true, why in the world do I vie for the position in my own life or the lives of my adult children? Never a wise idea.

One piece of advice and one wise observation from Ruth Bell Graham  (wife of Billy Graham) serve me well when it comes to loving people, especially my adult children.

  • Unasked for advice is rarely ever appreciated.
  • “It’s my job to love Billy. It’s God’s job to change him.”

And so, I am learning how to pray—once again. I found a mason jar and some bright yellow paper. Many mornings (not every morning) I fold and cut out a little paper heart while I pray for my fine and feisty—bold, beautiful, and sometimes broken crew. I write a quick love note or jot down a short prayer. It has blessed me and brought me to the Throne of our great and gracious God. This week I was in Ephesians 3:14-20.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.


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14 thoughts on “Adult Children 101”

  1. Brenda, thank you so much for this thought today. My family is going through tough times and this helps to remind me that our God cares for us. Have a good day, and may the Lord continue to bless this ministry.

    • Ken – God is so good.
      He reminds us that He is in the details – always present, always providing.
      We are all in this together – as the family of God – as a source of encouragement and hope.
      Safe place. Safe people.
      Lifting up a prayer for you and your family to the One who knows the desires of your heart.

  2. One of the things that has helped me the most in motherhood in this season is asking myself, “How would I have received what I’m about to say if my mother had said it to me when I was 24?” It keeps me from saying a lot of things that wouldn’t bless my kids. Thanks for these thoughts today!!

    • Thanks Beth – !
      Will add this to my ardenal.
      We spend more years loving adult children than littles.
      It is a remarkable journey.
      Onward – !

  3. Bren, Thank you for the quick charge for the day.

    Rebecca is with us for her 2nd week and we plan to go to Minoqua up north today enjoying the fall scenery and the sunny view of a beach..

    In His love, Pop

    • Love you, Pop!
      Have a GREAT trip.
      Take in all the beautiful sights.
      As I know you know – we love and serve the MIGHTY Creator.
      Ahhhh – !

  4. Thank you, Brenda. A timely post if ever there was. May God grant us all grace as we continue to parent adult children at home.
    Bless you.

    • Hi Karen, Yes. Yes. Yes – !
      May God grant us all grace as we continue to parent adult children at home.
      COVID – it is a season of grief, grace, grit, and the goodness of God.

  5. Thank you for this, Brenda. This spoke to me this week, especially as we work through some parenting issues with our nearly adult children.

    • Nate – There nuggets were given to me in a timely way and have helped shape my this season of life …. and will carry me on for years to come.
      Oh to trust the Spirit’s work!

  6. Wonderful advice! I love praying Ephesians 3 over my kids and others. It’s so great and meaningful. God be with each of our adult children and may He take them to new heights as they hear His voice.
    Blessings to you and I pray you and Tim have a wonderful trip together.


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