Tag Archives: parents

Discussion: Coping with Parents

Purpose: Acknowledging that we can’t control some things, and how to navigate situations we don’t choose.

Have you ever had to suffer the inconvenience of dealing with decisions your parents have made?

Have you ever wished you had more say in critical decisions that affect you?

How do you respond or react to decisions that affect you negatively? (Emotions, words, actions)

Does your response change the decision, or the results of it?

Think farther back to a similar situation in your early childhood where you did not want to do something or go somewhere as suggested by your parents. What was your reaction then?

We can respond in a variety of ways:

  1. Resistance (verbal, debating, grumpiness)
  2. Apathy (loss of motivation, fear of investment)
  3. Acceptance (resetting our expectations)

     All of these options include two variables: Caring and acceptance. We can choose to care or not care, and to accept or not accept, or any combination of the two. While we are under the authority of our parents, we are instructed to obey and honor our parents. One day we will be legal adults independent of our parents, and we will still be called to honor our parents, but honoring your parents looks different then. It does not mean doing whatever they say at that time. 

     While under the authority of our parents, if we choose to honor God’s instructions, we will strive to care and accept difficult situations created by our well-meaning parents, understanding that it will benefit us in the long run despite the near term discomfort. 

     Can you think of any sort of situation where it might be reasonable to disobey your parents? Let’s discuss scenarios where it might make sense to disobey, and how we would go about that with wisdom.

Examples:

  1. When you are in criminal danger
  2. When you are asked to lie to hide someone being in criminal danger
  3. When you have to choose between honoring God’s will and the will of your parent, and it is impossible to honor both. 

There are some situations where it makes sense to defy commands given by authorities. Here is one example where Peter and other apostles defied authorities: 

“We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men!” 
-Acts 5:28-29 NIV

     Sometimes we just don’t see eye to eye with our parents and make decisions that affect each other, even though we don’t mean to do it. Even Jesus had to deal with unmet parental expectations: 

“When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” -Luke 2:48 NIV

We are given commandments to do things that are not always easy to do. I guess if it were easy and came naturally, we might not need a commandment for it, but here is a relevant passage in Ephesians:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 
-Ephesians 6:1-3 NIV

We don’t have to be glad or excited about the choices our parents or guardians make that affect us, but we are challenged to honor them in the midst of that tension. This is something that may be uncomfortable now, but if we do it, we will later be glad that we did, because there is a blessing that comes with it. 

-Ezra