Christlife Posture: Loving Like Jesus

Topic: Relating to Parents, Adult to Adult

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 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? When do you experience tension in your relationship with your parents as you develop more independence?  

Video Clip

  • When Does A Person Become An Adult? (Think Fact) Did you find this look at adulthood confusing or clarifying? Are you an adult? By which criteria? What criteria/category do your parents use to define adulthood?

  • 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” need to be addressed?


  • Boundaries with Family (Sue Bohlin) What "inside" boundaries do you need to pay attention to? Do you see any areas where you are not acting like an adult? How might those actions confuse the adult-to-adult relationship you are trying to form with your parents?  What insights did you gain from this article, either scripturally or practically?

  • 5 ways adult children can honor their parents (Daniel Darling) What does it mean for you to honor your parents as an adult?  What of the five suggestions is most difficult for you to practice?

  • Do Not Obey Your Parents ( How do you distinguish between obeying and honoring your parents? What shift will you or your parents need to make? Is it difficult for you to be completely honest with one or both of your parents? What holds you back?  

  • Maintain a Healthy Relationship With Your Parents (Reader's Digest) Which advice was most helpful to you? Was there anything you disagreed with? Why?

  • Post-college parent-child relationships can be tricky (Dawn Turner Trice) What kinds of advice are you comfortable seeking from your parents as a post-college adult? What adjustments have you had to make in how you relate to your parents? What adjustments have they had to make? 

Video Teaching

Reflection Options  

Journal  (Reflect on one or more of these questions)

  • How have your parents been used by God (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 taking time to affirm them (in a note, an email, a text, or in person).

  • Journal about a time you felt your parents considered you an adult or treated you like an adult.  Take some time to tell them what that instance meant to you.  It might be good to practice on your mentor first! 

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

  • "The goal of parenting is to work yourself out of a job. The goal of parenting is to send young adults out into the world who are prepared to live as God’s children and as salt and light in a corrupt and broken world." Paul David Tripp

  • "God gave us family. And what a precious gift! But it is a gift, not the Giver. Jesus will not allow Himself to be demoted to High Priest in the Temple Of Family Values. When we come to Christ, we leave that Temple behind, never to return, and we spend the rest of our lives recruiting our families to worship Jesus." C. S. Lewis

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

  • "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

  • "Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind." Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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

  • Start on the paragraph that begins, “Present cultural norms” (pp. 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 as a functioning adult?  MENTOR: How did you become independent of your parents? What does it look like to relate to them adult to adult?

  • Read “Who am I? Relationships” (pp. 111-112).  As you redefine your relationship with your parents, what has felt 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?

  • 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 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 to your parents?  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.

  • Genesis 2:24 

  • Ex 20:12

  • Matthew 7:5/Luke 6:41

  • Matt. 12:46-49

  • Mark 3:31-35

  • Luke 2:41-52

  • John 2

  • Luke 8:19-21

  • Colossians 3:9-15

  • 2 Timothy 2:23-24

  • 1 Peter 5:5-6