A Christian mother of two unmarried children over age 21, writes that both her offspring “seem to think we owe them a living,” and expect their parents to pay for food and rent, while the children spend all their money on entertainment, or don’t want to get a job. The parents have on “many occasions” paid for bail from jail, apartment rent and groceries for these children, who respond by being rude, disrespectful and destructive. The mother says that if she doesn’t help them, she feels guilty — although she thinks the more she does, the more disrespectful they become. She asks for my opinion regarding how she should proceed.
* * *
My heart goes out to you concerning your children. You have asked my opinion, so I will be truthful. From all you say, it seems to me that your children are spoiled, selfish, immature and irresponsible. In my opinion, anyone who knowingly helps them avoid responsibility, by supporting them when they will not do what they should do for themselves, is only assisting them in continuing in that state.
“Tough love” is the only kind of love you can properly demonstrate in this situation. I pray that God will give you the strength of will and the clarity of mind to carry it out. Nothing else is truly “helping” these children — no matter what spin they try to put on it.
These are my opinions, based on 64 years of living [as of 2008], nearly five decades of serious Bible study, and having reared two children, now both grown and married. You didn’t pay anything for these opinions, and they might be worth what they cost. But you asked me, so I told you — hopefully not unkindly. God be with you!