My blog post last week came just before hearing of yet another case of "helicopter parents". If you are not familiar with the term, the illustration identifies a parent who hovers over their child. This is understandable in a sense, because the real world is cold and cruel. When your children become adults, you should really consider landing the helicopter. Hovering over your children has some value when they are younger but at age 25 it creates more trouble for your adult child that you may realize.
Helicopter parenting of ADULT children has to stop. I had no idea this problem of parents trying to control their adult children is so rampant, but I am finding this again and again in the couples I am meeting with each week. Marriage is a challenging endeavor, designed by God. God uses marriage for His purpose in each person's individual life.
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
I want to offer my belief that marriage issues, for the Christian couple, are a testing of the faith to produce steadfastness. When parents get involved and meddle in the marriages of their children it is possible for a spouse to put his, or her, faith in mama or daddy and not in Jesus.
I said last week that when it gets violent, or potentially dangerous then the situation is much different, but for the everyday situation, stay out of your child's marriage.
When we work with a couple we teach them the biblical principle of: "honor your father and mother" and the biblical principle of: "leave and cleave." Our parents are to be respected but when its time to get married you are an adult that must go forth putting Christ first and each other second.
In short, I see couples regularly who wouldn't have major marriage problems if their parents would just give them a chance to work through their own issues. I hear of parents doing some unbelievable things that I really cannot mention here. This is also a reminder that children should be taught about biblical marriage and have that modeled for them at home during their whole childhood. Many parents are trying to cram in post facto what should have been taught years ago. As the body of Christ we really must get better at the older teaching the younger in a God honoring way.
Land the helicopter, work on your own marriage. Chances are if you are a helicopter parent to adult children, you are merely trying to fix in your child's marriage, what has never been corrected in your own marriage. Ouch...sometimes reality checks require a pinch. With that said, I am here to help, or point you to help. firstname.lastname@example.org
Just reminding you to...
Andy Goode is a Biblical Counselor and Pastor in Hattiesburg, MS. This blog is about strengthening marriages and providing biblical direction for everyday issues and sometimes just about leadership in general.