Boundaries and Expectations
"Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you." Deuteronomy 5:16 NIV
Thoughts for Today
Although it is vital for you to respect your adult child in the way you communicate and relate, he will need to adjust his behavior to keep the rules of your home. God has called sons and daughters to honor their parents.
You have every right to set boundaries and require them to be kept. Do not allow an adult child to take over your home, living any way that he pleases, and not assuming specific responsibilities and duties. Boundaries might include not smoking in the home and reasonable limitations for having visitors.
Your child is a grown adult and will make his own sexual decisions. However, it is reasonable for you to continue to enforce the moral code that you have taught him as long as he lives in your home. You should never allow persons of the opposite sex or of homosexual persuasion to spend the night in your home with your child (Deuteronomy 5:18, Hebrews 13:4, Romans 1:26-27).
Expectations should include maintaining a respectful attitude toward you, doing household chores, yard and car maintenance, keeping his area of the home clean and payment of room and board (more about this tomorrow).
In most cases, an adult son or daughter living at home will want to help and will be willing to live by the house rules. However, there are also instances when he or she consistently refuses to keep the rules or to accept any responsibility. What then? It would be entirely reasonable and acceptable for you to ask him or her to move out. In this case, the child would likely try to instill guilt, but a godly parent who has tried in every way to make the living arrangement work should not feel guilty. You may feel sorrow, pain and regret, but do not feel guilty.
Father, give me wisdom in establishing boundaries and expectations while my adult child is living at home. I pray that he will honor me and my wishes and that this time together will be a good time of drawing closer to one another and to you. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Godly Parenting: Parenting Skills at Each Stage of Growth by N. Elizabeth Holland, M.D. This study addresses parenting skills from the time of conception until the child has reached adulthood. It suggests methods for raising healthy, godly children in an increasingly secular society. Specific emphasis is placed on communication and teaching skills, discipline, protection and sexual issues at each age. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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