By: Samantha Roberts
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 (NIV)
Rules, rules, rules. That’s all life with your parents seems to be about some days, right? “Don’t do this,” or “You have to do that.” How are you ever going to grow up if they keep treating you like a child? Can’t they just leave you alone and let you be who you are?
Well, to be honest, if they’re good parents they can’t just leave you alone. God has given your parents a great responsibility to raise and train you, and they can’t just give up on that if they want to honor Him.
If it seems your parents are hard on you sometimes, it’s because they’re trying their best to do what God has asked of them. Our Father in Heaven takes this whole parenting thing pretty seriously. The fact that we get to call Him “Father” shows us right away that He sees the relationship between a parent and a child as a special bond – one He wants to be a part of. If parenting is that important to Him, you can be sure how you respond to that parenting is just as crucial.
Of all the Ten Commandments God gave, “Honor your father and mother” was the first one that came with a promise. If you honor them, God said, things will “go well with you” and you will “enjoy long life on the earth” (see Ephesians 6:2-3). That’s not a threat like “clean your room, or else”; it’s a promise that life will work when you honor the plan He has for you. Like it or not, His plan for you right now is to live under the influence and instruction of your parents.
God knows the only perfect parent in existence is Himself. No one’s parents on earth are perfect. They mess up, make bad decisions, and react to situations out of emotion more than reason sometimes. Your parents are just as human as you, so give them a little grace every now and then!
Pray for them and ask God to show them how He would have them raise you. They have a hard job. Pray He would open their hearts and eyes and teach them.
Pray also that He would help you understand and accept your parents’ leadership. It’s not easy to obey with a joyful heart everything our parents ask us to do, but we don’t have to fight against them all the time, either. Unless your parents are forcing you to do something that is not Biblical, your job is to listen and obey them. Sure, they might not be 100% right all the time, but leave that part up to God. Just focus on doing your part and He will take care of the rest.
Your parents love you and what they do and say is out of that love. If they discipline you for doing something they know could hurt you, realize it’s because of their love for you. Try not to be defensive. When the emotion of the moment has passed, ask them to explain the danger to you so you can understand it too.
Your parents aren’t trying to be gigantic fun-killers, even though it may seem that way sometimes. They love you, and they deserve your love and respect too.
Dear God, I pray that You would lead and guide my parents in their job of raising me. Show them how best to love, discipline and teach me. Give me strength and understanding when it comes to obeying them. Help me be patient and not defensive when their parenting isn’t going my way. Help me do everything I can to keep peace with my parents. Thank You for giving me parents who love You and look to You for guidance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Wisdom on Getting Along with Parents by Mark Matlock
Talk About It:
In what way have you been defensive against your parents' authority in your life lately? Do you need to submit to their decision in some area of your life right now?
What can you do to show your parents you respect and appreciate them?
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Pray for your parents every night this week. If you can, write them each a short note or a letter thanking them for being great parents and encouraging them to keep up the good work by pointing out at least one thing you think they are doing well.
Romans 13:1, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (NIV)
© 2010 by Samantha Roberts. All rights reserved.