“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers (and mothers), do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged”. Colossians 3:20-21 NIV
In our text today, the apostle Paul is reminding children to obey their parents IN EVERYTHING. Now you might actually ask, “What does it include”? Well, EVERYTHING! This includes your relationship with God, your job, finances, kind of friends to make, which party you can go, sleep-overs, and yes even relationships (boyfriend or girlfriend), and many more. As long as you are staying in your parent’s house and you are not of legal age, you should obey them. The key is to obey without being intimidated or being threatened. You must be open with your parents so they will not worry because they were informed of what you are doing. You obey simply because you love and honor your parents. If you can talk nicely to your friends, there’s no reason you need to shout at and disrespect your parents.
Even Jesus had to obey Joseph and Mary. This, I believe, is the best example of respecting one’s parents in the form of obedience. (Luke 2:51)
For parents, your authority over your children should be exercised with kindness and gentleness, not with police-type strictness and severity of punishment for minor disobedience. If you impose your authority without love, your children will become bitter and become discouraged. Allowing them room to make up their mind while guiding them is a lot better than commanding them what to do and what not to do. The key is respect and trust. Remember that your kids have their own dreams to pursue and life to live. When you encourage them to make their own decisions and respect those decisions, you already won the respect and trust of your children.
You need to be confident that you have taught them and raised them up according to God’s Word. Looking at Proverbs 22:6, it is clear that no child will be perfect while they are still young. The good news is that “when they are old, they will not depart from it”. It means although they make mistakes, you are there with them and show them what lessons need to be learned from those mistakes.
Trust and respect are two words that goes a long, long way.