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Faith Alive! | Commandments of Christ 20

20. Children to obey their parents in all things (Colossians 3:20; Ephesians 6:1)

From issue 104 (January–April 2013)

Obedience is really key to serving God and yet it doesn’t come naturally. I don’t like being told what to do; I would much rather make my own choices. When I was younger I remember wanting to make my own mind up when I tidied my room, when I did my homework and when and who I met up with. Now I have my own family I am the one calling the shots to my children but the call to obedience is still there – God asks me to obey him, my heavenly Father. God gives us plenty of practise as kids so that when we are older obedience will be easier.

This command, Paul points out, has a promise attached:

“Honour your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise – so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2-3)

When we obey things will go well for us. Think of it as a circle of blessing – when we obey our parents we are standing in the circle of blessing and life will be generally easier. When we disobey we step outside that circle of blessing and things will not go so well – we no longer have the protection of our parents’ wisdom.

Yet obeying our parents is not easy. Sometimes it feels like our parents are from another world. Certainly, they come from a different generation, and we may not always understand their reasoning. However, we don't always understand God either, but we know that what God does is for our own good. In the case of our parents, it's that way, too. Obedience takes work and the humility to accept what our parents say even when we don’t necessarily agree.

Tips for obeying parents

  • Listen. By giving them your proper attention you can be sure to know why and what they are asking of you.
  • Show respect. Don’t roll your eyes! You may not agree with your parents' decisions, but obeying your parents begins with showing them respect. Make sure you ask questions or discuss an issue in a respectful manner.
  • Have patience. It's easy to immediately jump on your parents when you disagree with them or hold a grudge when they're wrong. However, your parents are human just like you; they make mistakes too. So, be patient with them as they are with you.
  • Communicate. When you share with your parents what’s going on in your life they will start treating you more as a responsible adult than a child. Talk to them when rules are difficult to obey, ask them for advice, tell them about school, college, university … it's every child’s desire (whatever their age) to be private but when you don't communicate it breeds suspicion.
  • Pray. Never underestimate the power of prayer to help you and your parents get along when things are tough. God will always give you the strength to obey.

Miranda Peel

 

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