Tonight’s Lesson: Relationship With Your Parents

I know what I was thinking when I was in High School: “I can’t wait to be out on my own; I can’t wait to get some separation from my parents.”  This is a normal feeling.  We should want to go out on our own and experience life in new circumstances (being poor, unable to cook, and living in a dirty apartment with two or three other friends who also have no idea how to cook or clean).  This is a great time to own the worldview that you were brought up in.  But what makes this time really special is that (for most of us) your relationship with your parents starts to change (Now, if your relationship with your parents is already at the point where you consider them to be “kinda-like” friends and you are still in High School, then good for you). The change is that you start to realize that your parents are people.  Wow, groundbreaking revelation, I know. But it is true.  You start to consider your parents almost as peers.  You call them for advice, with news of joy and sorrow, and even just to talk about what is going on in your day-to-day life.  

Tonight’s lesson is on your relationship with your parents (Check out Kevin Twit’s series on relationships. He does a great job laying out the biblical understanding of what he calls: relating, dating, and mating. Most of my material comes from listening to his series, as well as Les Newsom’s).  The two difficult (broad) points are: 1)We are called to honor our parents, and 2) We don’t know how to honor them.  The texts for tonight are: Deut 5:6-16; Mt 10:32-37; Eph 5:20-21, 25, 6:1-9, and 3:14-19.

In the first point: We are called to honor our parents…

-We get this from the 10 Commandments.  First thing to note on the 10 Commandments is that the context is redemption and relationship.  Where is relationship at?  Its in the prologue, when God says, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt.”  You are in relationship with God in a personal way.  He brought you out of bondage and slavery to restore you, and he starts out here in Deut 5 (and Ex 20) by giving his moral law to show us what we were made for (and how we may glorify him).

-That fifth commandment is one we like to pass over (Bible pun…hilarious) at times, but it points out a fact of life: God has set up in his moral law authorities that we are to submit to.  An important point here is that we are not to worship these authorities (parents need to remember this sometimes), but to honor them while we worship God.  Want to know what honoring your father and mother looks like. Check out the Westminster Larger Catechism’s Q104.

-What about when your parents are absolutely terrible?  Well, first of all, are you being a bit overdramatic?  If you are not, understand that parents are not the ultimate authority, God is.  In fact, when we submit to our parents, we are submitting to God (because he has set them up).  The point here is this: all authorities answer to a higher authority.  We need to remember this especially now when people are calling for riots and angry blog posts about our government.  We must submit to our authorities unless they are calling us to disobey God.  In the meantime, you can critique the authorities through the lens of Scripture while you obey them (so go ahead and blog away about the unbiblical government and society you live in…).

-Parents have a tall task ahead of them: “The are called to reflect the character of God into their children by giving them a taste of His strength and mercy” (Dan Allender).  What does this mean?  Allender says that all children ask two core questions in life: “Am I loved?” and “Can I get my own way?”  Parents have to be able to answer these in a proper way.  

-Bad news: Your parents have failed.  In fact, when you become a parent, you will fail at this too.  Good news: your Heavenly Father is committed to answering these questions perfectly, even if we don’t like the answer.

In the second point: We Don’t Know How To Honor Them…

-Well, you have to honor both of your parents, not just the one you like the most (translation, you can’t like the one who you can get away with stuff, and hate the other for being a “meany”)

-Scotty Smith tells us that we are to understand and respect the position that God has called them to, that is, raising you.

-Honoring your parents does not mean worshipping them!  How often have you put your parents on a pedestal and given them all of the love, honor, glory, etc. that God deserved?  

  • -Parents and children must know this: to abuse are treat children like slaves, or to fail to protect them is unbiblical.  In fact, some would argue that to allow this is to “forfeit their right to be called parents.”
  • -This is the hardest one for me to deal with: We worship a parent by having unrealistic expectations of them.  

-For parents: understand the power you have over your children.  You have been given authority by God to raise children.  What a gift!  While I will speak to this tonight, I want to make a note of one thought. 

  • Parents should be careful to not make judgments on their kids early on.  Children need to have freedom to develop beyond what they were like 6 months, 1 year, 5 years ago.  There is nothing more frustrating for a child than to be looked at for who they were years ago, especially if that child wasn’t a Christian at the time and has since become one.  

Quick Application:

-We must be patient with our parents

-We need to repent from trying to manipulate them

-We need to repent for a lot more than this..

-We need to toss aside what we consider the perfect parent and allow God THE Perfect Parent to redefine what parenting is supposed to be.

3 Responses to “Tonight’s Lesson: Relationship With Your Parents”
  1. Shawn Parcell says:

    I know my view of my parents changed in my college years. All of a sudden God gave me clarity on my selfishness and the selfless acts of my parents for the past 20+ years.

  2. ebun23 says:

    Praise God for this article! About time someone considered writing this. Very great read!

  3. ebun23 says:

    Reblogged this on God's Wisdom Lent To An Unorganized Mind and commented:
    Very great read about respecting our parents.

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