Something we all have to deal with from one side or the other is parenting. And parents are prone to making mistakes. I probably made a dozen mistakes yesterday by the time kids even got on the bus. And in my defense, I wasn’t wearing my glasses and that recycle truck sounded a whole heck of a lot like a school bus.
Parents have been played in a position of authority which means two things:
- They are required to lead
- The kids are required to submit
This of course brings up tons of issues because parents for one thing are sinful. That’s why shows like Grey’s Anatomy exist. The second thing is parenting is something you learn over time – which means they make mistakes.
The other side of things is that kids are sinful. A lot of them are like little goblins. And no kid really likes to submit to authority. So right after a child is able to say the word “Mom” they learn the word “No.” But focusing on the parents for right now… yes, God has placed them in authority. But does that mean they can lead however they want?
All you have to do is ask this question – Who is in authority over the parents? That obviously is God. So the only authority parents have is the authority God gave them.
I’ll explain it this way… Let’s say I own a pile of bacon. Which I do. It’s from Costco. Well it’s not so much a pile but a neatly organized stack of pre-cooked bacon which only takes 40 seconds to microwave. Can your parent come along and tell you to eat my bacon? No. They have no authority over my bacon. Only I have authority over my bacon. (Man, I don’t know how many times I’ve said that in real life.)
It’s the same with God and parents. They cannot tell you to do something outside their authority. If God says, “Thou shalt not kill,” our parents cannot say to us, “Go kill Kate Gosselin.” It is outside of their authority, and we would be required to disobey them, while submitting to God’s higher authority.
So what do we do?
If you are a parent, you might think the solution is easy… don’t tell your kids to do something sinful. Duh.
But where it gets a little harder is you also teach them how to act by how you act.
By your example. You are telling them to yell at other drivers when you yell at other drivers. You are telling them to fall apart when things go wrong when they see your lack of faith during tough times. You are telling them to be ungrateful to God when they hear your complaining.
Teaching your kids is more than words because they learn by watching you, by how you talk, by how to respond to things, by your faith. Now if we’re talking from the child’s perspective… if your parents tell you to commit a sin, well obviously you have to obey God, who is in higher authority than they.
But that’s not all… This still doesn’t give you license to be disrespectful. You still must honor your parents position and use wisdom to somehow politely decline. Maybe talk in a British accent. That always makes things seem more respectful. “Cheerio mum, but aah cahn’t kill Kate Gosslin, thaht would be quite reewd. Let’s gow to a football match an eat feesh an cheeps.” So as parents… teach not just by words, but by example.
And if you are relating to your parents, give them the honor God wants them to have. Because after all, he’s the one who has supreme authority over bacon.
EPH 6:1 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.” EPH 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Take Time To Pray: Ask God to help you understand His will so that you can teach it to your children by good example. If you are a child, then ask God to help you submit to your parents’ authority cheerfully. Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness.