Christlife Posture: Loving Like Jesus

Topic: Relating to My Family while in College

Suggested Approach: Choose 1 thing from each of the three boxes

OR Choose 1 from Media or Reflection + 1 from Scripture 

Media Excursions (Watch/read/listen and be ready to discuss Q's)

Still Image/Painting

  • Jesus Found in the Temple (James Tissot) This painting explores some possible tension that may have existed because Jesus acted independently of his parents (Luke 2:41-52). Age twelve for a Jewish boy is the age of transition to adulthood. What do you think Joseph and Mary are thinking or feeling? In what areas do you experience tension in your relationship with your parents or siblings as you as you develop more independence?   

Video Clip

  • Dramatization (Faisal Shah) What kinds of things can you remember and be thankful for as you look back on your childhood? How does this video inspire you?

  • The Messy Vlog (Letters to the Exiles) Do you experience your current relationship with you family/family members as “messy”? In what ways?  What level of “mess” is okay to live with and what kinds of “messes” do we need to address?


  • Relating to Parents (UT Dallas Counseling Center) Which expectations have you and your parents (or you and your college student) discussed? Which need to be discussed? Identify any of the Do’s and Don’ts that were helpful reminders for you.


Reflection Options  

Journal  (Reflect on one or more of these questions)

  • Think of your family.  How has God used them (whether they are believers or not) to shape your story in becoming more like Him?  Practice gratitude for each one of them first by telling God, then by affirming them (in a note, an email, a text, or in person?).

  • Make a list with two columns. In one column, list all the things you miss about your parents and siblings. In the other, list all the things you are gaining from being away at college. Think of a way you communicate both columns to those still at home.

Quote Interaction  (Agree, disagree or otherwise engage with the quote/quotes)

  • “Experience which was once claimed by the aged is now claimed exclusively by the young.”   G.K. Chesterton

  • “When you're safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you're having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.”   Thornton Wilder

  • “Growing up in Ireland, when my family received important news, good or bad, we would boil water and make tea. It was the first thing I did when my father died in 1984. This ritual allowed me a moment to take in the enormity of what had happened.” Roma Downey on Family Rituals

  • "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."  Reinhold Niebuhr

Reading & Reflection from the book, Shaping The Journey of Emerging Adults

  • Start on the paragraph that begins, “Present cultural norms” (p. 28-29) and “Relational Instability” (pp. 31-33). Emerging Adult: what kinds of support do you currently depend on your parents to provide? How does that affect the way you want to or feel you should relate to them? What is your own ideal timetable for becoming independent (financially or relationally)?  MENTOR: how did you become independent of your parents and what does it look like to relate to them adult to adult?

  • Read “Who am I? Relationships” (pp. 111-112).  If you have begun to redefine your relationship with your parents, what about it has felt scary or disruptive or confusing for you? Which aspects of the way they relate to you send the message that you aren’t an adult yet?  What aspects have helped you gain confidence as an adult?

  • Read “Negotiating Parental Relationships” (pp. 145-146). What is it like when you return home on breaks or for the summer--especially in regard to freedom/independence vs. parental standards?  Which areas would you like your parents to understand you better? MENTOR: if you have a college student, how have you navigated the changes in the relationship when they are home on break?

  • MENTOR: Read the first two ideas under intentionality in chapter 9 (pp. 155-156). Think and pray about how you might discuss either an unwillingness to care or a lack of proactivity in relationships with siblings or parents.

 Explore Scripture

Meditate on one or more of the following passages. Always look them up in context.  Take some time to really explore the verse in relation to this topic.  How does this scriptural advice apply to your relationship with your family members?  Make a note of what you discover to share later.  See "Learn More About Ways to Study Scripture" below for help in getting the most out of the verse.

  • Ex 20:12

  • Proverbs 1:8

  • Matthew 7:5/Luke 6:41

  • Luke 2:41-52

  • Luke 8:19-21

  • Galatians 6:9

  • 2 Timothy 2:23-24

  • Hebrews 12:14

  • 1 Peter 4:8

  • 1 Peter 5:5-6