Read Colossians 3:20-21.Ironic, once again, to be writing on this passage today when I have a deadline for our parenting book. I'm trying to set aside the writing project for time to be with the Lord first.
"Children, obey your parents...." NIV
I really want to focus mostly on the "Children/obedience" combo. So much disobedience among our kids today. The "me" generation thinks they know best (also just a product of teenager hormones) and disregard the parent's guidance/rules/directions. They've become so handy with information that they think they've received the wisdom to go with it. Obedience teaches so much more than just doing what you were told. You learn order, authority, wisdom, reason, discipline, submission, humility. I could go on, but I won't because I need to give equal time to verse 21.
Parents often end up frustrating their child through traditional rules (the ones our parents had for us and we blindly establish in our own homes without really thinking through their validity.) We frustrate them with doing exactly what we told them not to do (i.e. we yell, "Stop yelling!") or we start seeing them as commodities/or liabilities instead of human beings.
Both mandates boil down to mutual respect. If a child respects the parent for being the authority that God has placed over them, then they will be obedient. (Of course the parent needs to be living respectably as well. More is caught than taught.) Then the parent needs to treat a child with respect. There is a difference between punishing and disciplining. Yelling, screaming and beating have very different results to calm, firm, and deliberate. Don't get me wrong, I believe in spanking. But it must be done with purpose, not anger. There's a reason for the verse, "Spare the rod, spoil the child." A spoiled child makes for a rebellious future teenager.
Create a family foundation of love and respect fulfilling God's mandates and establishing a peaceful home.
- Parenting can be a controversial subject - even among believers. Agree with me or disagree? Why? Do you have Scripture to support your viewpoint?
- I was going to ask, "Does anything need to change in how you parent?" but everyone always has something that can be at the very least tweaked. What area is that for you?
- Are you being a disobedient child? If yes, why? Is that pleasing to the Lord?
- Who in the Bible demonstrated a healthy pattern of parenting? What can you emulate from their example?