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September 2020

Politics, and a
Post-COVID Culture


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FIRST GLIMPSE: Adult Parenting


“You gonna make it through this?”

The question, often accompanied by a smile, a wink, or a slap on the back, became routine in the weeks leading up to my daughter’s wedding. I always responded simply, “I think I’m going to make it.” I knew the askers meant well and appreciated their support for the changes coming for our family. Yet, each time the quirky dialogue played out, it left me shaking my head. Of course, I would make it! My daughter’s marriage wasn’t a punishment or a reason to grieve; it was an answered prayer to celebrate.

I recalled the early April morning when I lifted my daughter Victoria from the hospital incubator and carried her to my wife’s bedside. Together, we held her and prayed over her, giving her young life back to God. That morning—and every morning of her growing up years—I prayed three things for her: 1) that she would love God; 2) that God would send a young man who would love her but who would love Him more; and 3) that she would find fulfillment in her faith and life’s work for God.

Why would I ever question God’s answer to prayer?

I’m afraid today’s parents, even Christian parents, have bought into the misconception parenting stops on the wedding day. Too many parents think their children walk down the aisle and out of their lives. Not true—or at least it shouldn’t be.

I’ll be the first to admit I choked back some tears on Victoria’s wedding day during the short walk down the aisle that suddenly seemed a mile long. And, sure, my parenting role changed dramatically the moment she said I do…but it didn’t end.

In the months following her wedding, though a novice at parenting adults, I am learning to follow a handful of simple principles:

  • Give them space to grow and to fail (Psalm 119:71). Avoid the phrases “That will never work” and “I told you so.” Some things can only be learned through experience, and strength grows most quickly through failure and adversity.

  • Encourage them to carve out their own traditions (Genesis 2:24). Don’t expect them to be an extension of either birth family.

  • Be available when needed (Philippians 2:4). From taxes and car insurance to leaky faucets and purchasing a first home, your life experience is invaluable to your kids. But don’t offer. They will reach out when they need you.

  • Set a good example (1 Corinthians 11:1). Continue pursuing God. Stay (or get) involved in your church family. Be consistent in life behavior. Love and honor your own spouse. Be transparent about failures and struggles. Apologize when necessary.

  • Keep praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17). When my daughter lived at home, I prayed (at least) three things for her every day. Now that she is a married, responsible, bill-paying adult, the list has grown and includes my son-in-law. Prayer is serious business and never should be underestimated.

Do I really know what I’m doing as a parent to adults? Not really. But one thing I do know: I’m not going to stop my God-given dad duties until the day He calls me home.

About the Columnist: Eric K. Thomsen is managing editor of ONE Magazine. Email:


©2020 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists