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Young Adults 2: Thinking About Relating to Parents as an Adult Child

Young Adults' Issues

Jun 17, 2012


by: Jack Lash Series: Young Adults' Issues | Category: Young Adults' Issues | Scripture: Matthew 15:1–15:9

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6/17/12 (Father’s Day) “Young Adults 2: Thinking About Relating to Parents as an Adult Child” Matthew 15:1-9
I. Explanationof Matthew 15:1-9
A. We see again that those who are the champion criticizers are often those who are most worthy of criticism.
B. What was happening:
1. Giving to God what should have been given to parents
C. Why would someone do this?
1. They were still giving the money, so it wasn’t out of greed.
2. Was it out of zeal for the work of God? It’s hard to imagine that if this were true Jesus would rebuke them for having hearts far from Him.
3. Part of it might have been out of a desire to impress others, by giving a lot to God.
4. However, it seems likely to me that many of the ones doing this were resentful toward their parents and liked having a way to avoid honoring them.
D. Anyway, Jesus rebukes them for this practice and this principle, and accuses them not of loving God too much at the expense of their parents, but loving God far too little to follow His commands. 8 “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
E. The responsibility to honor parents doesn’t end at adulthood.
F. The responsibility to honor parents doesn’t end when those parents are sinful and imperfect.
G. There is often a temptation to find a way to excuse oneself from this responsibility and rationalize it away.
H. One’s attitude toward one’s parents is a reflection of one’s attitude toward the heavenly Father.
1. This is because in the way God created the world and established human society, parents were designed to represent God to their children in some fashion.
II. Parents and children
A. Parents sin against their children.
1. They’re sinners and they sin.
2. Anger, harshness, pride, selfishness, overprotectiveness, under-protectiveness
3. As a child gets older, it’s easier and easier to see that sin.
B. In the heart of man is a rebellious nature.
1. Even with the best of parents, children can be resentful and unappreciative.
C. When you combine these two things, you have lots of fuel for bad relationships.
D. But Jesus doesn’t want us to tolerate that. He knows that parents and children need each other no matter how old.
1. And He wants us to know that our duties toward one another don’t end when a child becomes an adult.
III. How do you honor your parents as an adult?
A. Providing for their needs: Jesus is a good example of this on the cross, with His mother and John.
B. One of the most important ways to honor your parents when you are an adult is to work to have a good, close, warm, positive relationship with them.
1. Opening your heart to them.
C. Having affection for your parents
D. Involving them in your life as much as you can
E. Targeting them as friends to the degree it is possible
F. Listening to their feedback, seeking their feedback, opening your heart, sharing your problems
G. What if there are hurts and resentments?
1. Going to them and dealing with them
2. Asking for help if it’s needed
IV. Traps parents must avoid
A. Over-parenting when kids are adults.
1. Esp once they’re married. “A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.”
2. Sometimes you still need to rebuke them as a brother.
B. Always treating them like kids
1. How much I’ve learned from my adult children
2. They have a unique ability to speak into my life.
C. Allowing adult kids to remain as kids.
1. The 31 year old who plays video games all day and still lives with his parents
2. Doing everything for them: We haven’t had the luxury of falling into this trap.
D. Not seeming interested in being close
1. My own story: Going to each of my children
2. With some of them, it has had a transforming effect on our relationship.
3. Spending time: I have two 30 somethings and five — soon-to-be-six — 20 somethings.
4. One of the highlights of my week is meeting with Jacob and Nathanael on Friday mornings. I wish I’d done it with all of them at this age.
V. Conclusion
A. You didn’t choose your parents. But you do choose whether to make the most of it or be bitter.
B. God chose imperfect parents for you. On purpose.
C. Honoring your parents isn’t ultimately about family harmony or even respect.
1. It’s about gratitude.
2. And it’s much more than a family thing, or even a social thing. It’s a theological thing.
3. God brought you into this world and gave you life through your parents.
4. And yet it is our sinful nature to grumble and complain about our parents instead of being thankful.
D. Recognition of where you came from and appreciation for the ones who got you to where you are
E. Kids longing to leave home, then coming back with a new appreciation of their parents
1. Many who feel cheated or deprived while they’re growing up end up being grateful for the parents they had.
2. Don’t waste your relationship with your children or parents. So much good potential for both.

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6/24/12 Title: “Young Adults 3: Thinking About Marriage 1”
I. Introduction
A. June series on young adult issues // Today: Helping young single adults think wisely about getting married
II. Genesis 2:15-25
A. We can see in the NT (esp 1Cor.7) that singleness is a calling of God for some.
1. Our Lord was single. And so was the Apostle Paul. And there are special advantages to being single.
B. Gen.2 helps us to see that life is ordinarily divided into two stages.
1. Stage one: your primary connection is with father and mother
2. Stage two: your connection shifts to a spouse
3. Assuming you get married as a young person, the second stage lasts a very long time.
4. Young people are famous for thinking only of right now.
5. Proverbs: wisdom is assessing where a road leads before heading down it
6. The rest of your life: that’s pretty important
7. Generally the second stage lasts a lot longer than the first. In my case, in a few years (~7) I will have been married for two-thirds of my life. And we live to be Bob and Pinkie’s age, we will have been married about 3/4 of our lives.
III. The permanence of marriage
A. Cleave to your wife: stuck with each other
B. This kind of choice must be made with the irreversibility of it in mind.
C. When I address the married people, I say, “You’ve got to accept the spouse you have and make the most of it.”
1. But you single people don’t have to accept anything. You get to choose.
2. But it’s so important you choose well. Because probably you’ll only choose once.
D. The one whose judgment will affect every day for the rest of your life
E. Your companion, the one you’re going to hang out with: Trudeaus
F. Wit: cleverness vs kindness, skill, handsomeness, as opposed to stability, humility (with McMahon)
IV. Children
A. The most profound way that the two become one is by having children
1. At this point you can’t even imagine how much you will love your child.
B. You don’t choose your parents, but you do choose your spouse.
1. You also don’t choose your kids, but you choose who their other parent is going to be.
C. The parent of your children, whom you will love more than you’ve ever loved anything in the whole world
1. The one who will be your back-up, The one who will be their example, The one who will teach them and counsel them and provide for them and show them how to live in this world under the Lordship of Christ
D. You are a fool if you don’t think hard about this kind of thing when evaluating a potential spouse.
V. Genesis 3 and marriage
A. Genesis 2 provides us with the story of the origin of marriage. It informs us that God did it at the very beginning of mankind, that it is between one man and one woman. But Genesis 2 also leaves something out. It tells the story of marriage before the fall of mankind into sin.
B. The curse introduces pain into human experience and, in particular, into the experience of marriage.
C. Two weeks ago we talked about how in Gen.3:17-19 human work was cursed. “Cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you...By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread.”
D. But in that same passage we learn that the human family is infused with pain: the whole process of having children, and marriage itself: “Your desire shall be for your husband, but he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)
1. This strange-sounding verse seems to mean that the woman would desire to impose her will upon her husband but in fact he would rule over her instead. In other words, whereas before sin, man and woman would work together in harmony, now there would be conflict, now they would be self-willed, now there would be a struggle of wills.
2. Not only is the most likely interpretation of the Hebrew words in the verse (based on their use in Genesis 4:7b), but it is also the interpretation which is most consistent with the rest of the curse, which announces the introduction of pain into various aspects of human experience.
E. Marriage involves putting two sinful wills together: a lifetime of disagreements
1. The importance of finding someone you can work with, someone whose approach to disagreements you can respect and even enjoy. Picking a spouse means picking an opponent.
VI. The sexual side of the equation
A. I understand the drive to get married. I wanted to get married as soon as possible.
1. But impatience can be deadly in this business.
B. It’s nice to have someone who’s attracted to you, but you need to be aware that, as Proverbs 31 says, “Beauty fades.”
C. One thing that often wreaks havoc on the process of finding a good spouse is when a couple gets physically involved while dating. For a number of reasons, it removes any ability to be objective about their relationship.
VII. Conclusion
A. The younger sisters in Fiddler on the Roof who are excited to get a match
1. I don’t want to instill fear. I realize that some are too reticent. They need to trust Christ and not fret so much.
2. But so many young people are not sober enough when they think about the second stage of life.
3. And so they make foolish decisions they have to live with the rest of their lives.
B. There are no guarantees, of course. Sometimes the most promising prospect turns out to be a dud. And the one who looks like a scoundrel waiting to happen turns out to be a great catch.
1. Ultimately our trust has to be in the Lord to give us the spouse He wants us to have.
C. Leaving parents often means leaving more than you realize. And even if your feeling about living at home is mainly a negative one, often young people come to the conclusion that there was a lot of positive after they are married. There’s a lot more to being married than you realize. Go humbly.
D. The best wisdom I can offer you about marriage is this: You can’t approach marriage right unless your love for the Lord Jesus is strong enough that you are coming at marriage from a position of strength and not weakness. In other words, if you marry out of a sense of need, you are getting started at a bad place. Or, to put it another way, as a human being, you need love, everybody needs love. But human love is frail and imperfect. Ultimately the love we need is the love of God in Jesus Christ. And only when you are stable in His love, are you really ready to commit yourself to love another.