“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” Col. 3:20
Children aren’t extensions of their parents; they are rather the inventions of their Creator. We parents are caretakers of God’s creations, not the manipulators or controllers of God’s children.
We are to bring up children as the Lord desires and as he has designed them to be, and to help mold them into the image of Christ. They have been created in God’s own image, and it’s superfluous for us to recreate them in our own image.
I read somewhere that there was young man in Georgia who received a plate from his father with “You have been a great disappointment to me” on it, merely for the reason the boy failed to get into Harvard, which had been the father’s dream and aspiration for his son. What the father did to his son was severe cruelty, pure and simple. There is no other way to put this.
From what I have read, the child had done everything he could to please his father, yet his best simply didn’t measure up to his demanding father’s expectations. Does it ever get to the point when the son can say enough is enough, and venture out into the world on his own?
“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”
Obviously, this verse doesn’t imply unconditional obedience on a child’s part, for no human being has the right to demand such submission from another. I suppose this verse is only applicable to children who are under their parents’ roof and who are yet to become financially and emotionally independent.
When it came time for my children to choose their future mates, they might have come to us for advice, but never for permission. We were merely informed of their final decision concerning their spouses, and we in turn gave them our blessing. I suppose this is the way things are, and to demand that your children do otherwise by quoting this verse is way out of line. We lose such authority when the children are grown, for they are held responsible by the Lord for all their decisions. For better or worse, they are the ones who receive the consequences of their choices, either concerning their career or marriage.
It has been a learning curve for me in dealing with my grown sons, for I have always been tempted to play a greater role in their lives than I am supposed to or have been charged to do. I am sure I have made my share of mistakes by intruding myself into their lives, which brought no benefit to either party, but only tension and ill-feeling. I hope I have learned my lesson and keep an arm’s length as far as my children’s personal affairs are concerned.
Even so, my deep love for my sons and my daily intercessions for them will never cease, albeit I have withdrawn from participating in the daily operation of their lives.
Of course, to love is to strike a balance between doing too much and too little for the beloved, and I am not so sure that I can always maintain the delicate balance between the two.