Have you, like me, wondered lately, whatever happened to personal responsibility? It and common sense seem to have permanently “left the building”. We’ve already talked on this show about the rampant senses of entitlement and victimhood in many of today’s young adults, fueled by a strong spirit of offense and tendency toward narcissism, and evidenced by the “Failure to Launch” of our college-educated kids. But when cold, hard reality and the inherent “unfairness” of life end up running headlong into our children’s utopian expectations from a life of indoctrination in government schools, what exactly is our duty as parents to “be there” for those adult kids? Do we or should we try to provide “soft landings” for them, or even try to “soften the blow”?
Table Talk Notes
Our initial duty: Instruction and Discipline
Prov 22:6 | Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Prov 13:24 | Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
Eph 6:4 | Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Prov 22:15 | Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Prov 23:12-14 | Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge. 13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.14 If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.
Proverbs 3:11 | My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, 12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
Hebrews 12:4-11 | In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Difference between “life-threatening” (pregnancy, drug/alcohol addiction, abuse) and “lifestyle-threatening” (financial or legal issues, job, car, shelter)?
Does it matter if their problems are from shunning advice you gave them?
Does past “attitude” matter when our adult children are in need? (i.e. actively turned away from the Truth of God and His Word, even becoming hostile to you and your beliefs)
Is there a time for getting outside help or even “letting go” and if so, when?
Matt 10:21-22, 34-39 | Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved… “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
2 Cor 6: 14 | Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
2 Tim 4:3-4 | For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
2 Tim 3:1-5 | But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
1 Tim 5:8 | But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Luke 6:27 -31, 35-36 | “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them… But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Pre-emptively setting the stage for handling future “falls”
Former Marine-founded organization in Utah called “Forte Strong”, offering a 6-9 month program to build strong, independent men of character, for age 18 & up. Steps are Introspection, Development and Actualization, where students understand sacrifice, loyalty, selflessness & gratitude.