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Ask Donnell: Why Should I Listen To My Parents?

Ask Donnell: Why Should I Listen To My Parents?

We received the following question from 13 yr old J.J.;

"How am I supposed to understand what my parents are trying to teach me? Sometimes it's no fun and other times I think it's wrong."

Proverbs 22:6(NKJV) - Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

J.J. I really appreciate your honesty. The simple fact that you asked the question means that deep in your heart you want to get it right. So first let's establish some simple truths. Parents are not supposed to be fun they're supposed to be parents. Proverbs 22:6 says that parents are really coaches who are supposed to train their children like athletes. Are coaches supposed to be fun? Of course not!

They can be fun but they don't have to be. The responsibility of a coach is to bring out the best in an athlete by developing and executing a customized training program. That's the same assignment of parents. Additionally, like an experienced coach knows better than a young athlete, parents should know better than their children. Therefore, smart athletes listen to their coaches even when they don't agree and smart children listen to their parents even when they don't agree. If you can get it right in training you will win when you get out into the real race and if you can get it right in your parent's home you will win in the real world.

Ephesians 6:1-2(NKJV) - 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 be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

I just listed two of the most important commandments to children in The Bible. Commandment number one is to obey your parents in The Lord because it's right and not because you think they're right. Commandment number two is to honor your father and mother. What matters the most with this commandment is that it comes with a specific promise. If you honor your parents you will live a long and prosperous life on the earth. If you don't you won't. Dishonor your parents and expect to die early.

When you obey your parents you are really obeying God because God told you to obey your parents. It's really more about your relationship with God than with your parents. So even if you don't like what your parents are teaching, your obedience is your worship to The Lord. Parents are not perfect and may even get things wrong sometimes but God is a righteous judge. If you obey Him by obeying them out of a genuine heart He will take care of you in any situation. Even when they're wrong you continue to honor and respect them.

Did Jesus Obey His Parents?

Luke 2:41-52(NLT) - Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they didn’t understand what he meant. Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart. Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.

When Jesus was your age The Bible says He went missing from His family for a few days. When His parents found Him He was in the temple. Pay close attention to His response when His mother asked Him what He was doing. He was about His Father's business. He knew what He was talking about but nobody else did just yet. Therefore, He had to leave the temple and be obedient to His earthly parents.

He was God in the flesh and was already obedient to His Heavenly Father but He humbled Himself and respected His earthly parent's authority. If God in the flesh had to obey His earthly parents where does that leave you? Also, do you notice what immediately followed the verse concerning His obedience to his parents? He increased in wisdom, stature and favor with both God and people. Since nothing's written by chance in The Bible if those two verses are consecutive they should be linked. When you're obedient to God by being obedient to your parents you can expect to grow and receive favor in your life.

In conclusion, the first authority you face in your life is your parents. If you struggle to respect their authority while you live in their home you will struggle with authority outside of the home. Like it or not, you will always be under some kind of authority. At home it might be your parents but at school it will be your teachers. When you get a job it will be your boss. When you're out in public it will be the police.

When you're in the church it will be the pastor and church leadership. When you're playing sports it will be your coach. Your ability to honor your parents gives you a major head start in life. Additionally, they're the only authority figures in your life that owe you love. Good parents have your best interest at heart while other people in authority don't care anything about you. Parents are required to take care of their children but everyone else owes you nothing. Let's give God praise and thanks for our parents today.

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