Launching Your Children Into Life
by Sharon Norris Elliott
After speaking with frustrated parents of young adults about the topic of this book, at first I planned to entitle it “How to Get Your Grown Kids Out of Your House.” Another title considered was “How Did You Do That?” referring to the question often asked of my husband and me when people hear that our boys had gone away to college and on into adult lives of their own. Trust me when I say the story is not quite as simple as that; so, not wishing to sound flippant, insensitive, or dishonest, I pretty quickly nixed those titles. The oldest son did come back for a few months, and the middle son is on his own, but has had a tough time of it financially. So far so good for the youngest, who has used both the opportunity of his birth position and his smarts to learn by watching the other two.
Still, although this when-to-cut-the-apron-strings topic isn’t always the easiest to discuss, the conversation does come up, and when it does, the question and the aggravation persist. We love our children, but when they are no longer little kids, a new dynamic exists when all of us live under one roof. Most of us have no qualms about providing for our children as infants, toddlers, and school-age young’uns who were, by virtue of their age and skill set, unable to provide for themselves. But currently we’re experiencing an undercurrent (or is that a tidal wave?) of discomfort because many of our households are harboring full-grown men and women—some with more education than we ever got—who expect to be treated as independent adults, but who are dependent upon our income for their basic food and shelter.
I realize young adults are still living at home with their parents for a variety of reasons, but whatever the reasons, the fact still remains that they are not on their own, and the questions arise: Should they be on their own? When will they be? Will they ever be? Can they make it? Are they ready?
Okay, so back to the drawing board I went, searching to find an appropriate slant and title for a book that would give both workable suggestions and an answer to the question that we were being asked. After praying about it, God spoke to my heart and said, “Do what you always do.”
Genius, God, I thought (as the Lord’s answers always are). What I do when I write is take my material straight from the Scriptures.
So I delved into the Bible for parenting information on this subject and found Psalm 127:5, which says, “Blessed is the [one] whose quiver is full of them [children]” (niv, modified). A quiver holds arrows, yet thousands of young adults are returning home like boomerangs. Arrows are pointed and straight; boomerangs are bent.
The picture was clear. We parents are pronounced “happy” when we raise, aim, and launch arrows. Upon further investigation, I found the entirety of Psalm 127 to hold the key that we parents need to unlock the door holding the answer to our present dilemma. Walk with me through these truths, and let’s discover how we can transform our boomerangs into arrows and launch our adult children into the adult lives that God means for them to live.