“Honor your parents” we say to rebellious teenagers. So seldom do we actually wonder how we are doing in this area in adulthood.
We continuously remind teenagers that they don’t know everything, to mind their tone and word choice, and to remember everything their parents have done for them. But what about us? Are we still following those words of caution?
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12NKJV
I was a stubborn brat growing up and, truthfully, I hadn’t realized it. I would talk back to defend myself, raise my voice and storm out of the room slamming my bedroom door. My dad would just sit on his couch and shake his head. Thank God for a parent’s grace.
Until recent years, I hadn’t had much of a relationship with my mother. I loved her, but I was completely rebellious and resentful towards her. So I stayed away, I kept her at a distance. I kept my heart hardened and refused to see her side of things. No, I will not say she was always right–that’s not the point. The point is that as her daughter, I should never have raised my voice or talked back. Talking back fueled the pain and the anger.
The Difference Between Teenagers and Adults
Teenagers deal with many internal and external trials. Their bodies and minds are trying to adjust to new hormones, school work, new relationships, and image issues. They have a lot of negative things they are experiencing and are barely learning the coping skills necessary to express themselves properly. Their frontal lobes aren’t fully developed, which is part of the cause for all this chaos.
Adults, on the other hand, have a fully developed frontal lobe. The frontal lobe of the brain is what “controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviors.”( according to Healthline.com.)
Adults have no excuse. Yes, we deal with lots of things too, but we have wisdom and knowledge and the ability to be in control of ourselves. We have the ability to control our tongues, and tones. So, why does it seem like adults within the 21-45 age range forget that they are the child and their parent is still the parent?
What are Parents For?
Let’s talk about what parents are for. Parents are there to instruct and “train up their children in the way they should go.” Instructing means that there will be correcting and constructive criticism. training up means coaching, guiding and encouraging. Parents have to balance their role with both positive and negative reinforcement and feedback to keep their child on the straight and narrow. Being a parent must be tough. The weight of another persons life is in their hands, sometimes several lives.
Parents are not to provoke their children.
The Apostle Paul wrote:
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4NLT
Parents are to be forgiving.
Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son examplifies that forgiveness:
“So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20NIV
Parents are to discipline.
“Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give you delight to your heart.” Proverbs 29:17ESV
Parents are to show compassion.
“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows Compassion to those who fear him.” Psalm 103:13ESV
Parents are to manage their household.
“For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” 1 Timothy 3:5
The bible never states when these things should expire. Just that when a man gets married he should leave his mother and father to be with his wife to create their own life. Again take a look at the Prodigal son. Who knows how young or old this person was. But we know that His parents still helped him and loved him even when he was at his worst.
Childhood to Adulthood
When a person reaches the adult stage of life what changes? They no longer live under their parent’s roof. Their financial dependence should be minimal to none. Their parents are no longer in control of nor responsible for their adult child’s decisions.
So, where does this leave the relationship between a parent and their adult child? They are still parent, and child. Not friends, not acquaintances, not strangers. Just like my father told me he didn’t like that boy or my mom told me to clean up more when I was a kid; they are still supposed to do it into my adulthood. BECAUSE THEY’RE PARENTS. They aren’t there to tell me what I want to hear. They are there to tell me what they think is best for me and whether I agree or not, I need to respect and appreciate their guidance.
What if I don’t agree?
Do I need to heed to their advice? No! Should I allow them to intercept into my life? No! Because I’m an adult and at this point I’m able to decide what is best for my life. However, I need to listen and hear out and respect the opinions of my parents. Sometimes, I do have to let them know, “I love you and I appreciate your input, but I’d rather talk about something else now because we don’t see eye to eye on this.” Agree to disagree. I wont hang up, I wont storm off, and I wont raise my voice(Even if I’m tempted to). Because they are my parents. If I make a mistake, I apologize for it.
They raised me up with so much love, and did their very best to guide me to the right path, and therefore I will continue to honor them in my adulthood.
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