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How Do I Parent My Adult Children?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
September 8, 2023 1:30 pm

How Do I Parent My Adult Children?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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September 8, 2023 1:30 pm

Episode 1311 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. What does it mean to "worship in Spirit and truth"?

2. Is there more power when I use Jesus's Hebrew name in prayer?

3. How can I be a better parent for my adult children?

4. What should I say to my adult children who have strayed from God?


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Book - Doing Life with Your Adult Children: Keep Your Mouth Shut and the Welcome Mat Out by Dr. Jim Burns

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How do I parent my adult children? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you on this Friday. You can call us for the next 25 minutes or so, or of course you can call us and leave a voicemail anytime at that number. You can also feel free to email us at, and we're on social media. You can watch us right now on YouTube and Instagram, and you can send your question to Adriel that way, so check that out. Right now, let's go to Ruth, who's calling in from Pennsylvania. Ruth, what's your question for Adriel?

My question is this. During the morning show in the week, we've been talking about worship, and the subject came up. We worship in spirit and in truth, and I've heard that before, and it's what I call Bible-ese. It's a phrase, but I don't really know what it means, and I was hoping that Adriel could explain what type of worship that would be. Hey, Ruth, thank you for that question. I love what you just said, Bible-ese, you know, those things that we sometimes will repeat in the church, and everybody just sort of assumes that we all know what you're talking about when you say that, when in reality, a lot of us are just thinking, okay, worship in spirit and in truth, what exactly does that mean?

And so I'm glad that you asked this question. Now, that language, that phrase, comes from the Gospel of John in John chapter 4, as Jesus is interacting with a woman, the woman at the well, and she's talking about, you know, worship and the proper place to worship and so forth. She says to Jesus in John chapter 4, verse 20, our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say in Jerusalem, that is, you Jews is what she's getting at, you say in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship, and Jesus said to her, woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.

You worship what you do not know, we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews, but the hour is coming and is now here when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. Verse 24, God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. Now, I'll just read a couple more verses. The woman said to him, I know that Messiah is coming, he who is called the Christ, and when he comes, he will tell us all things. And Jesus said to her, I who speak to you, am he.

I love this chapter of the Bible. There's really so much to draw out from Jesus' encounter, his interaction there with the woman at the well, but specifically to your question, what does it mean to worship God in spirit and in truth? Well, here, this is a Samaritan woman, and the Samaritans had their own kind of way of worship.

They were sort of treated like half-breeds. There was tension between the two, which makes Jesus going to meet with this Samaritan woman significant, and one of the tensions surrounded worship and the proper way to worship. And Jesus says here, well, salvation is from the Jews, but there's coming a day where worship is not going to be relegated to one place like Jerusalem. Now, of course, under the old covenant, you had the temple there in Jerusalem.

That was the place where you went to meet with God. And so Jesus is talking about the dawn of a new era, the coming of the new covenant and this great reality that we're going to worship God, not just in Jerusalem, but throughout the whole world. Now, worship is not going to be centralized in one place, but it's going to be universal. The church is the temple of God spreading abroad throughout the whole world. And when we gather together as the children of God here on earth today, we're coming before the heavenly Jerusalem, as the author of the Hebrews said in Hebrews chapter 12.

But a couple just practical things, Ruth. One, God cares about how he's worshiped. We sometimes think, you know, so long as you're sincere, do whatever you want.

Well, that's actually not right or proper. We're told we need to worship God with reverence and awe because God is a consuming fire, Hebrews chapter 12. In Leviticus 10, for example, you have that scene where Nadab and Abihu, these two priests, worship God by offering him strange fire.

And they were struck down dead. So throughout the Bible, it's very clear that God doesn't just care that he is worshiped, he also cares about how he's worshiped. And so there's an element of truth that needs to be there, you know, on the basis. And when we say truth, I think what's being focused on here is God's revelation. How has God revealed to us that he wants for us to worship him? What does he call us to do? What does he command us to do?

We're not just making this up as we go along. So worship in truth, but also in spirit. That is, you know, prompted by the spirit. We pray in the spirit. We worship in the spirit.

That is the Holy Spirit drawing near to God, the Holy Trinity. So an emphasis on proper worship, on right worship, on the fact that worship is not centralized to one place like Jerusalem. Those are the things that Jesus is getting at there in John chapter 4. And I think the call for each of us is to examine our own hearts and to think about, okay, when we approach God in worship, do we recognize that he is that consuming fire, that he calls us to approach him a certain way through his son, Jesus, in accordance with his word and what he's revealed in his word, in accordance with that which is true. That's what we need to be committed to as Christians. And that's what Jesus said was coming there in John chapter 4. Thanks, Ruth, for that question. Just a follow-up question for you.

And I know we've discussed this before on the broadcast. There are certain worship songs by some of the contemporary worship artists or groups that theologically may not really be accurate. What would you say about worshiping, singing those songs in church? I think we've got to be discerning with anything that we allow into our worship, again, because God cares about how he's worshiped.

And so music and worship, the word that we sometimes use is the word liturgy, that shapes us, that shapes our theology, that shapes our thinking, that shapes our understanding of who God is. And so if we're singing things that are contrary to the truth or singing things that aren't theologically accurate, that misshapes us. I mean, that misshapes our theology and can lead to terrible things. And so we have to have discernment, and we really should never. I mean, that's just the reality, is if there is a clear instance where, okay, we're singing something that's totally actually not biblical. I mean, this is just not true. Maybe it makes people feel good when they sing it, but it's just not in accordance with Scripture. Then we should immediately stop doing that.

And I've heard the same thing, Bill. In our church, we sing a lot of Psalms from the Old Testament. We have a Psalter hymnal that we use. The great thing about singing the Psalms is they're divinely inspired by God, and so you don't have to worry about whether the theology is right on or not. But we also sing a lot of those classic hymns with a lot of just rich theology because we want the word of Christ to dwell in us richly through song. And so we ought to be committed to that, I think, as the people of God.

It doesn't mean that newer contemporary songs are bad and we shouldn't sing them, but we do want to be discerning in thinking about the words that we're singing to God. Great counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. You're listening to CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, or maybe something going on at your church that you're concerned about, here's the phone number, 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. We'll be taking your calls for the next 15 minutes or so, so now is the time to call. Let's go to Dan, who's in Missouri. Dan, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, hey, I love your show, and my question is, there's power in the name of Jesus, but his original Hebrew name was Yehoshua or Yeshua, so why would we translate that to Jesus?

Like, I have a friend named Borja from Spain, but we don't call him Benjamin. Hey, Dan, thank you for that question, and you're absolutely right, that there is power in the name of Jesus, but just the word Jesus is not like this magical talisman. It's the Lord.

It's God. It's the second person of the Holy Trinity. That's where the power is, and the evil one bows to him, trembles in the presence of Jesus. Think of all of those scenes in the Gospels where Jesus is going around performing miracles, casting out demons, and he shows up to a city, and the demons just tremble.

They fall down before him. What have we to do with you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? But let's not confuse that power with just sort of throwing the name of Jesus around as though it had magical properties, and there was a group of people that did that in the New Testament. In Acts 19, let me just read you a quick story. This is Acts 19, verse 11. It says God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims. Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Siva were doing this, but the evil spirit answered them. Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?

And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them, and overpowered them so that they fled out of the house naked and wounded. In other words, don't try to throw Jesus' name around like some, again, like an incantation or something. You know, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. No, I mean, the devil there, the demonic possessed man, you know, says, I know who Jesus is. I know who Paul is.

I don't know who you are. And so we have to recognize that it's the person and work of Christ where the power lies. And if people think they can just, you know, and you see this sometimes today, you know, people, you know, I have a cross necklace that I wear to protect me. We sort of treat God and the things of God superstitiously, even the name of Jesus superstitiously. And when we do that, it really is taking the Lord's name in vain. And so getting back to even just the original part of your question in translating the name of Jesus, whether we refer to him as Yeshua or Joshua, right, the Old Testament, Joshua, Jesus, again, that's not the main thing. It's the person and work of Christ. Of course, you know, in our English Bibles, that's translated as Jesus. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's not like we have to pronounce it the way they would have in the Hebrew Bible or in the days of the New Testament in order to get it right.

That's not the main thing. And so I appreciate your question. Dan, may the Lord bless you. And I just want to agree and say, amen, that there is indeed power in the name of Jesus and his person and his work.

Amen. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Want to mention we have a great resource available for you. If you are a parent or a grandparent, there's something really cool about singing worship songs with your family, with your kids, especially if they're younger kids, as they start to learn how scripture is embedded in many of the songs we sing. And we've got a resource, a free resource, we'd like to make available to you today.

Yeah. Bill, you were just talking about, or you asked that follow-up question about singing songs that are theologically rich and accurate and the danger of singing things that don't line up with scripture. This resource is really wonderful because it gives you a number of wonderful hymns, theologically rich and sound hymns, to sing with your family or with your church. It's called Ten Songs to Sing as a Family. And again, one of the best ways to teach theology, especially to young children, is through song. And so get ahold of this resource over at forward slash radio. It's a free download, and it's called Ten Songs to Sing as a Family.

Much better than those Barney the dinosaur songs that you often sing with your three and four-year-olds. Why don't you check it out? Did you?

I don't know. We did. Did you guys sing a lot of Barney at your house, Bill? Is that what you're saying? Way back when.

It was another day when our kids were much younger. Okay, so you can find that resource by going to forward slash radio. Again, forward slash radio. Well, we do receive emails here at the Core, and you can email us anytime with your question.

Here it is. Questions at And here's one from Sarah. Sarah says, How do parents transition from parenting young kids to young adult children who are over 18?

What are some practical biblical principles? Ooh. Bill, I definitely want to get your thoughts on this as well. Your children are older than mine, so my kids are—my oldest is 11 years old. He's going to be 12 in December. My youngest is a year old. We have five children. And so we're gearing up for that season in a handful of years. But I do have some thoughts in terms of, you know, as Christians, as our children get older, and especially as they leave the house, you know, they're growing up, they're becoming adults, what are we called to do as parents?

The first thing I want to say is even taking a step back, and for those of you who have children, you have young children, just the importance of striking while the iron is hot, as they say, you know, at this stage where they're so moldable, pliable, their brains are like sponges. What an opportunity we have to talk about the faith, to raise them up, train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It looks like going to church consistently. It looks like having conversations about Jesus in everyday life.

It looks like singing together, you know, that resource that we just talked about. There's a sociologist named Christian Smith who's done a lot of research on children, and, you know, children in particular in the United States were raised in evangelical churches and why so many of them are leaving the church, and he says a lot of it has to do with what's happening in the home. We tend to think it's all about, you know, their church and their youth group, but he says that the primary influence on your children's faith is going to be you. And I know that's not getting to the heart of this question in particular, but I just wanted to say, you know, so much of it is starting now to instill those principles, those truths, ultimately scripture. It's like Paul told Timothy. He says, you know, from your childhood you've known the holy scriptures that are able to make you wise for salvation. He says that faith was first in your grandmother and then in your mother, and now is in you.

Well, how did that faith come to be in Timothy? Through the word of God that his grandmother and that his mother would talk to him about, and so having those conversations, and I don't think those conversations are meant to stop as our children get older. I think they shift, and maybe there's more of a discussion that's involved, but certainly as our kids get older we want to continue to talk with them about the Lord, doing more guiding as they get older, right? When your children are younger you're doing more deciding and less guiding, right? You're making the decisions for them.

Here's what we're doing as a family. Here's what you're doing for school and so forth, and the hope is that in all of that as our children are growing, they're growing in wisdom, the ability to make right decisions, good decisions to judge between right and wrong, and being given more and more responsibility and the opportunity to make decisions for themselves, and especially as they grow into adulthood. That's so important, and so it's preparing them for that, and as they get older and then they leave the house, you're doing less deciding, as I said, for them, but more guiding and still providing that wisdom, that fatherly or motherly wisdom and care and prayer is so important. I mean, that's one of the ways that you continue to uphold your children, as they leave the house, is by praying for them and providing wisdom and guidance and still having those conversations about the Lord, while also, I think, trusting in the Lord and resting in Him, recognizing that He's sovereign, He's in control, and that He loves your children as well. And so, Bill, I want to pass the ball to you right now, as they say, and get your thoughts as well, because I know your kids, as I mentioned, are a little bit older.

Would you add anything or take away anything? What would you say? Oh, I think what you said is excellent. We have one son in college, another one, our middle daughter just started college last week, and then we have a 16-year-old who will be in college in just a couple of years, and it's a balancing act.

It really is. You're moving from, as you said, that parenting role, that very hands-on kind of teacher role, to more of a coach model, where you're more hands-off and you're more kind of guiding and directing in gentle ways, but at the same time, you need to still have boundaries. You hear these stories about parents who, their adult children move back into the house, they fix up a nice guest room for them, and they pay for their Netflix subscription and their DoorDash deliveries, and unfortunately, that's happening more and more across the United States right now, and that's not helpful to that young adult child.

You have to let them spread their wings, and sometimes when they spread their wings, they're going to fall, but they learn from that, as you said. By the way, I want to mention a great resource that my wife and I really like. It's by Dr. Jim Burns from the Youth Builders Organization. It's called Doing Life with Your Adult Children, and the subtitle cracks me up, Keep Your Mouth Shut and the Welcome Mat Out.

Wow. I think it's really true. How much advice do you give and when do you give it? I think that's a real growing edge for many parents, and then how do you help without enabling? That's another thing that parents need to learn. So anyway, I think you gave some great advice, and I would strongly encourage every parent to get that particular book, and if they're about to become an empty nester, their kids are entering those young adult years.

Yeah, that does sound like an interesting book, Bill. Every situation is going to be a little bit different. I imagine that there are some parents who, as their children get older, they think, oh, I wish we would have done more of this when they were younger, and I feel like now they're having a difficult time with faith or connecting with God, and they're growing, and they're about to leave the house, and you just want to hold on to them and cling to them and say, oh, we got to get this right. Boy, I think wherever you are in the process, continuing to entrust your kids to the Lord, continuing to pray for them and pray for their well-being and providing that wisdom, that care, that love, knowing God's word well for yourself so that you can apply it in important ways, in practical ways to the questions that they have, even as they get older. They're still wrestling through so many things, and it's important to bring God's word to bear, His truth to bear. Sometimes they may not want to hear it, but you ought to be a source of that truth in their lives, and so it's so important for us to have that as parents wherever we are, at whatever stage we're in, and may God have mercy upon all of us and help us. Our hearts go out to all of you with young children or with children who are about to leave the house. May God bless you.

So well said. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Tessa is on the phone with a question that's kind of related to that discussion.

She's in Missouri. Tessa, what's your question for Adriel? What scriptures or what can I say or pray or what have you for my older children, adult children, that tell me that they believe God in a different way than I do? Do they have, I mean, were they brought up in the church, Tessa, or was this something where it's like, I mean, have they rejected the Christian faith, or is this just something that they've discovered on their own? And then when you say, you know, believe in God differently, is there something specifically, is it another religion that they've embraced or just sort of, you know, broad spirituality?

What would you say? Well, I would say part of, I mean, we raised all four of them in the church. My son and my youngest daughter both are saying this to me, and my son had made a comment of, well, what if God is an alien? And I don't know what to say, because we raised them in the church, and we go to church, and we're raising our grandchild in the church that we're raising, and I don't get it.

And my youngest is more of a spiritual and all-natural, I don't know how to explain it. I just don't know what to say. Tessa, God bless you, and I want to take a moment to pray for you and to pray for your kids. Before I do, I think it can be so difficult for us, right, in these situations, you know, well, what can I say?

What's the key that's going to unlock this? And I think the prayer would be, Lord, draw them back to yourself through your word, and the power is in the word of the Gospel. And so when people say things like, oh, I think maybe aliens are the ones who put life on earth, that just sort of begs the question, well, who created the aliens, right? We believe that God is the one who created all things, the heavens and the earth, Genesis chapter 1. There isn't anything that exists that was made apart from God, apart from Christ.

John says that in John chapter 1, and so the Bible's very clear that God is the uncreated creator, and that at the heart of true spirituality is the message of the Gospel, that our sins can be forgiven through Christ. And I think that's where you want to focus, is on the word of God and on the Gospel, because that's where the power is. And pray that the Lord would open their hearts and grant you wisdom as you wrestle through Scripture, but really wrestle through, you know, the proper way to approach this and to apply God's word to their questions.

So let me pray for you to that end. Father, we thank you for our sister Tessa. Thank you, Lord, for her desire to follow you and to honor you, and we pray for her kids, Lord, her son and her daughter, who are not walking with you right now.

Would you draw them back to you by the power of your word and spirit, and would you give our sister wisdom to apply that word to the questions they have? In Jesus' name, amen. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at and click on offers in the menu bar, or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-11 11:53:33 / 2023-09-11 12:04:05 / 11

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