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I had run away from home at the age of 15 to marry my prince charming, except he turned out to be anything but.The first year of my son’s life was like any number of Lifetime Movie of the Week scripts in which violently abusive husbands stalk their wives, making their lives a near hell on earth.

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And it’s those well-meant intentions that cause us grief today.

They’ve never really tried to move ahead with confidence and be all they can be.

Remember, God knows when to discontinue a trial because its purpose has been fulfilled.

What must stop are the ongoing (and often useless) discussions we continue to have with our adult children, who clearly know how to push our buttons, how to control us and thus control the outcome, be it consciously or subconsciously. And as difficult as it may be to hear, we may be somewhat responsible for whatever part we’ve played—large or small—in the dysfunctions of our adult children. We have surely played a part—perhaps unwittingly—in raising disrespectful, irresponsible, ungrateful, selfish, self-centered, egotistical, and debilitatingly lazy adult children.

We have played some part in raising excuse-ridden sluggards—“The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied” (Proverbs 13:4). I know some of you may be saying, “Allison, please don’t make me feel even more guilty about my parenting choices. However, if we really want things to change, it’s time to feeling guilty, take the spotlight off our adult children, and focus ownership of the issue on ourselves.

We’ve done countless things for them that they are more than capable of doing for themselves. We must replace our enabling behavior with something else. We can help (not enable) adult children of any age develop wings to fly on their own. We can find comfort in knowing we are not alone on this journey. In place of “perseverance,” the New American Standard Version uses the word What are we really made of?

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