The Dynamics II
Col.3:20-21 “Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.”
The concept of obedience according to God’s Word, changes as a child matures. As a parent, when you are talking to a ten-year-old, obedience can be likened to being a dictator. Even though the child does not want to go to bed, for example, he or she has to because mum or dad says so. It is very strange to have children that are in primary or secondary school, that will not take instructions from their parents. Sadly, some parents are making a lot of effort to be their child’s friend. All the child has to say when he or she does not like an instruction from the parent is, ‘I am not your friend’ and the parent starts to panic. At that age, your objective is not to be your child’s friend. Your objective is to be a father or mother to your child.
The point is, parents should stop trying to be the friends of the people God has given them to parent, either physically, biologically or spiritually. A life group leader is a spiritual parent to the people in his or her life group. You have to make some decisions they may not like. As a departmental leader, you will have to make some decisions that people in your department will not like. Children do not always like everything their parents say. Why do they have to do it? ‘Because I said so!’
As the child grows and becomes a young adult in his or her twenties, he or she still depends on you for supply and sometimes come under your roof. If you are a wise parent, you will change how you relate to that child because that child is in transition. Yes, the child should obey and there are underlining principles of honour, but you should begin to accommodate the child’s independence. On some nights, your child will opt to stay in the library to read late into the night, you need to begin to accommodate that. You can insist on the child be home at a certain time, but you have to begin to accommodate his or her independence.
When your child is not asking you for what to wear, or for what to eat, you should back off. You have moved from a dictator to a consultant. As a consultant, you have a portfolio of experiences you can suggest to them as a piece of advice. When you advice, be humble enough to know that they may not take the advice. It does not mean they are disrespecting you. It means you have raised an independent human being successfully. It is a plus for you if you are a parent.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, please help me understand the times and seasons in my life, and give me the grace to respond with wisdom in all things, in Jesus Name. Amen!