If I start to become a safe person for my young adult kids to talk to about faith …
we may end up having some really great conversations, especially if I do more listening than talking.
Especially if I ask curious, friendly, open-ended questions and then shut my mouth and open my ears.
But what if they say things that frighten me? Make me angry? Make me worried for them?
Then what do I do with my anxiety?
Can't I just tell them they are wrong?
Can't I just threaten them with God's anger if they don't believe what I believe?
Can't I try to just manipulate them into going to church? Force them to attend with me on the holidays?
Well … of course you can do those things.
But the question is why?
Will they be helpful? Will they be encouraging to your adult child's faith? Will these things create a safe place for further conversation? Will doing them make you feel better?
Nope. Nope. Nope. And Maybe … but only for a bit.
Here's another radical idea about what you can do with your anxiety when it comes to your adult kids' faith:
You can pray.
You can take all that anxiety, worry, frustration, anger, fear …
wrap it all up into a tangled little bundle of emotion
and you can,
with great confidence,
hand it all to God,
and you can leave it there.
God is not full of anxiety about your kids. He just isn't. So he is far better equipped to handle all your pent-up worry than you are.
Release the lives and faith of your adult kids into God's hands … and then live a joyful, grace-filled, friendly life with them.
"Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you [and your kids]." (1 Peter 5:7 - The Message - with a little touch from Alice)
I am reading "Beartown" by Fredrik Backman and this quote made me think of your recent articles: "It doesn't take a lot to be able to let go of your child. It takes everything." (p. 152)
You have hit on some really important truths, Alice, and I thank you.