They were there when you were born, they were there on your first day of school, and they were there when you fell and bled. They were there to comfort. They are here to provide, they are there to cry with. They are there to celebrate with you, but also there to discipline you. They will be there when you matriculate, graduate, marry and hold your first child in your arms. (DV)
Want to guess who they are? They are your parents; your foundation formers.
When thinking of the parents and our hearts towards them as teenagers or any children for that matter; three things come to my mind…
- honour /respect
Not to stack them in exactly that order for they are all important.
You might think it obvious that the first two are there. Almost like a ‘duh’, Annesti. But before you decide not to read this post further, I want to ask you to take a moment to yourself and just think what that personally and practically means to you. What does it imply in your life with your relationship with your parents?
We are required to respect our parents, and not just because they say so, but rather because God says so in His Word. We live in a society where children are rebellious, proud, arrogant and very liberal. Our culture cultivates mindsets of arrogance and disrespect, disobedience and pride. It cultivates images of ‘lame, dumb’ parents and images of worthlessness are attached to families. (Check out Deut 21:18-21 if you want to see how serious God is about that attitude)
Have you ever pondered the thought that God destined you to be in the family which you are in for a reason He chose? Have you ever thought of the huge responsibility your parents have to raise you? Have you ever thought of that pressure?
“Train up a child in the way he/she should go, and when he/she is old he/she will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)
Well most likely not, but I bet that as soon as you have children of your own you will reconsider your view of your own parents. But while we aren’t really close to that stage yet, I will make it more personal and ask you what respect towards your parents mean to you, NOW?
“Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 (NKJV)
I’ll help you out a bit, it would practically mean to accept the fact that your parents said no to the party you wanted to attend. It would mean NOT watching the movie they disapprove off, it would mean backing them and standing up for them in a group of disrespectful teen friends you might have. I challenge you to do that in the future as you now look at that through God’s eyes.
“Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:9-11 (NKJV)
“Obey your parents ….”
Those words… you absolutely love and adore them. They are etched on your heart, set as your cell phone wallpaper and hung where you can always see them… (Now I see your blank disbelieving stare already set as, “really!?” check out the verse at the ending of this post though)
Those words have been coined with a low rumble in your throat and lengthy sigh because you DON’T want to hear them. But do you know how highly God esteems them in His Word? It is mentioned several times throughout the Bible. It is also the only one of the Ten Commandments that is paired with a promise. (Ex 20:12)
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may go well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3 (NKJV)
Obedience to your parents is not just important for you to grow up as the person they want you to be, but also in the bigger picture, it equips you to be set on obeying when you have to answer to God and be tuned into His voice and follow His guiding. You are taught the skill of listening and carrying out commands now so that one day you will be able to obey God as His child seeking His will.
“So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22 (NKJV)
So practically it involves sticking to your curfew, doing your chores; although you despise them, not asking for the same thing for the 100th time after they have told you “No” a hundred times before.
“Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.” Colossians 3:20 (NKJV)
And the third one is just to emphasise some of the fact that they are your family and that they are with you for life. They are the people who care most about your wellbeing. They are the people who sense when everything is not ok, without you even saying anything. Cause they know you and they are able to ‘read’ you. They love you with an indescribable love that cannot be broken by painful words or unbelievable, unacceptable behaviour. They are the ones you can share with because they are trustworthy and will give you good counsel, and not just because they want to please you, or appease you but because they are older, wiser and want what’s best for you. And contrary to most worldly views, your parents are really pretty cool and can be your best friends as you get older. Because you can literally go to them at any time, in any trouble and in every season, and they care! I am very thankful for my parents and the fact that I have them in my life. And I can honestly tell you that my mom is one of my best friends, and my close family are the people I can comfortably be myself around. And they love and accept me as I am. Cause they are the people you do ‘life’ with. Not the ones that can come and go with leisure and comfort
Families are meant to stick together through thick and thin and if the chance comes by later, I can tell you a personal story of how precious that is when they do….
But until then, do some personal soul-searching in finding ways of how you can love, serve, respect and obey your parents. And remember to cherish and appreciate them. Not all people have that. But as Christian families we have the privilege to function as God intended families too; supportive, encouraging and growing/shaping one another.
“My son, keep your father’s command, and do not forsake the law of your mother. Bind them continually upon your heart; tie them around your neck. When you roam, they will lead you; when you sleep, they will keep you; and when you awake they will speak with you. For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” Proverbs 6:20-23 (NKJV)