Moms and dads dream of a future where their kids become adults and still want to come home regularly to visit. As parents, there’s something we can do to lay the foundation for that dream to become a reality. Additionally, one can always apply these principles whether you have kids or not, or whether your kids are already grown! As you have this conversation today, prayerfully consider how you can apply God’s word to your current season!

Start Talking

*Don’t feel like you have to ask all of the questions in this section! Pick 2 or 3 that best fit your group.

  • What is one behavior your parents showed you that you want to emulate? Similarly, what is something they did you prefer not to emulate?
  • A parent’s behavior (not advice) determines if their child wants to be like them or with them once they are free to choose for themselves. Does that statement resonate with you more as a parent or as a son/ daughter?
  • Think about this: “Your parents’ behavior determined how much respect you had or have for them”. Additionally, respect leads to influence. Who is someone you respect that you have allowed to have influence in your life?
  • Parenting (or really any close relationship) has the potential to bring out the ego in us, the fear in us, the insecurity in us, the anger in us and the ugly in us. Which one of those do you relate to most?
  • What would it look like to keep your children out of the center of your family dynamic, rather than having them as a “welcomed addition”? How does doing this give you influence in their life?

Read This

  • Read 1 Corinthians 13:4–6.
    • Which of these characteristics of love stands out to you? Why?
    • Who do you know that represents these characteristics of love well?
  • In these verses Paul is helping us learn to love the way Jesus loved. He starts with the idea that “Love is patient”. Another way of saying this is “Love goes at the other person’s pace”. Does this definition of patience come easily to you?
  • How have you seen it to be true that a lack of patience causes a separation in a relationship?
  • Read also Colossians 3:21. What are some ways a parent could exasperate a child? 
  • Where did your parents fall on the “Patient-to-Pushy” continuum? Did either parent “exasperate” you in their effort to get you to excel?
  • If patience is a Fruit of The Spirit, how can you become more patient?

What Now?

  • As Andy asked on Sunday, who feels rushed (pressured, or pushed) by you? What would you say leads to you doing this?
  • Another way of asking the question above is this: Where do you fall on the “Patient-to-Pushy” continuum? In your marriage? With your kids? At work?
  • What would it require from you to adjust your pace to thiers? Really consider the answer to this. What adjustments do you need to make? How can this group help you with this?

Additional Resources

Memorize this: Philippians 2:3. Ask God to help you see the connection in humility and patience.
Athens Church Preferred Counselors List