Should Parents Encourage Adult Children to Date?
- Thursday, April 12, 2012
But if you have not shared your desire with them, then may I advise you to keep these thoughts about your children (and future grandchildren) to yourself. Here’s why . . .
The key words are in your last sentence: “without meddling.” The only way I know of that you can show respect to your single adult children (and they are adults now) while holding on to your desire for grandchildren without meddling is through prayer.
It seems like your intentions are right on: “I want them to find God’s choice for them.” Who wouldn’t want that for their children . . . or for anyone, for that matter?
However, the problem I see in your situation is that you are wanting to move things along in your adult children’s lives. And that’s really not your place. It is your place to listen, to encourage them in their spiritual walks and to point them to the Truth found in God’s Word. But it is also your place to let God be sovereign in their lives. Let his will be done . . . in his way and in his timing (Proverbs 19:21).
I know that is hard to do, to let go—especially as a parent. You want the best for your children. You want them to be happy. You want everything to go right and without pain or struggle in their lives. But parents must also be careful to be praying that their desires for their children are in line with the Lord’s.
For example, perhaps it is not in God’s plan that your single adult children find “the one” right now. Perhaps he has other things in store for them that need their focus and their commitment without the distraction of a romantic relationship (or taken a step further, a spouse and children). Who can say? (Isaiah 55:8-9).
It might be helpful to focus on praying that the Lord would be shaping them into the young men or women that he wants them to be in this season of singleness, so that they will be prepared and ready if and when he is ready to bring a potential mate to them.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Laura MacCorkle, Senior Editor at Crosswalk.com. She loves God, her family and her friends. Singleness has taught her patience, deepened her walk with the Lord and afforded her countless (who's counting anyway?) opportunities to whip up an amazing three-course meal for one.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!).
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to He Said-She Said (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
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