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brothers

Recap

Things get heated when Pastor Chaney tries to mend severed family ties. Bishop Jones throws Loretta a birthday party, and his gift leaves her speechless. Ron Gibson helps an ex-con begin a new life.

Lesson

Much of the angst between parents and adult children stems from the tug-of-war over whose life it is. There often is a disconnect between parents who still want to shape their grown-up kids’ future course and the kids who are determined to live their lives their own way.

For loving parents, their grown children’s trials and errors, including failed projects and teary breakups, can be anguishing. It can be wrenching to let go of the old parental omnipotence and not be able to fix everything. Make your respect for your grown kids a recurring theme of the relationship. Adult children want one thing from their parents above all else — respect. The more you provide, the greater the odds that your children will want to remain close with you. One way to show respect is to shower your grown kids with praise just as you did when they were young. Search for any excuse to offer a compliment. Make “I’m proud of you” and “You handled that very well” your mantras.

Adult sibling relationships in families are like the weather—stormy at times, defying predictability, and disruptive. It may be that you have a distant relationship with a sister. Perhaps you and your brother are estranged. Maybe you have a sibling who is taking advantage of your parents, or is displaying the symptoms of addictive behavior. Whatever your situation, I thought I’d offer a couple of thoughts and some biblical wisdom that might help you, your spouse, or a friend weather the storm.

Let me begin with the obvious: Realize that everyone comes from a less than perfect family. There’s something in our souls that longs to believe that the family we come from should be different. Not weird, but better than the average. You might expect the family next door to be abnormal, but not those who are genetically related to us!

Love him. You may be the incarnation of 1 Corinthians 13 in his life—the closest thing to seeing and experiencing the love of God.

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