Loving Your Parents

By R.J. Maunton, high school student and Marjorie Foerster Eddington


What do you do when you feel that your parents don't know what's best for you in the long run?


I've felt the same way. Sometimes I feel as if they don't know what they're doing and should stay out of my life. But those are the "insane" moments in my thoughts. In truth, when I think about it, they have supported me and kept me along the right path. My parents have loved me and cared for me my entire life. They have also made many sacrifices for me.

So if you start wondering whether your parents are on their own trying to decide what is best for you, remember that God has proven multiple times that He is guiding your parents to make the right decisions, nurturing them, and helping them help you. There are many situations in the Bible where parents make sacrifices and good choices for their children, and God plays a huge role in those Bible stories.

One Bible example of good parenting is the story of baby Moses. Moses' mother loved him very much. She was devastated when she found out all the Jewish baby boys were going to be killed. Although she didn't want to part with her son, she decided to send him downstream to save his life. This was very risky for both her and her son, but it wound up saving Moses' life. If his mother hadn't made the great sacrifice of giving up her son and risked the possibility of being put to death herself, Moses wouldn't have survived to lead the children of Israel out of slavery. God had a plan for Moses, and God guided Moses' mother so she could help His plan succeed.

In the past, like many other children, I have broken away and rebelled against my parents. Each time I come back to my senses, they welcome me back with open arms, as many other parents do. Although parents frequently dish out reprimands, they still love you and care for you more than anything else. And there are Bible stories which prove this point. Even though Absalom betrayed his father King David, David continued to love his son and wished him the best. War came between the father and son (because Absalom started it), but David still wished Absalom well, ordered him not to be killed, and mourned his death when he was killed (II Sam. 18). David loved his son and wished him no harm, despite the way Absalom treated him.1

Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son shows how a father's love helps his son (Luke 15). The prodigal son insulted his father, took his money, and marched off without another word just to waste all the money through bad choices. Poor and homeless, he decided that he had sinned against his father and against God. The son returned to his father, prepared to work as a servant and earn his food and board. But his father ran out to greet him and welcomed him back joyously. The father was the picture of grace and loving parenting. Even though his son had wronged him, the father continued to show love and respect for his son. Many parents would do the exact same thing the prodigal son's father did because of their reliance on God to guide them. In this case, as in many other stories from the Bible, God is shown to be the Father of us all.

The most important, loving, and devoted parent is Father-Mother God. God has cared for His children for all of eternity. Our parents, along with us, are children of God. Everyone is and always will be a child of God. God looks after all of our families. But we need to listen to Him. There will be less home conflicts if each family member remembers his or her true identity and listens to God. One family God saved in the Bible was Noah's by warning him about the great flood. No other family was listening to God, and because of that, none of them was saved from the flood. Noah and his family believed in the one true God, and Noah set an example for his family by listening to Him whenever He called.

The Bible shows the need for family unity and families who listen to God and proves that God guides us and helps us make better decisions when it comes to family life. In families, we must all work together for better relationships. We need to appreciate everything our parents have done for us and the unconditional love they give us. When it really comes down to it, the effect each of our parents has upon us is tremendous. It should be everyone's goal to be as loving to each other as good parents are to their children.

Any problems that we have with our parents can be fixed when we turn to God, who is our true Parent. If we do have problems at home, though, it's helpful to use the Bible as a reference guide, for the Bible shows how people deal with similar situations.2 So, if we ever are mad and feel like going against our parents, we can remember Moses' mother, the prodigal's father, and Noah, and feel the love our parents give us. We wouldn't be here without our parents, and we wouldn't be as successful as we are without our parents. Parents are the most necessary part of a child's life. The commandment says, "Honour thy father and thy mother" (Ex. 20:12).

R.J. Maunton, high school student

1 David struggled with parenthood. He did not know how to establish principle in his home or discipline his children. (Discipline is different than punishment.) Nor did he know how to interact with them. Absalom was an angry and manipulative son who never forgave his father for the mistakes he made; who deliberately "stole the hearts of the men of Israel" (II Sam. 15:6); who brought division and war to Israel; and who was killed. While David is not a consistently good model of a parent, and Absalom is definitely not a model son, R.J. points out the enduring love that David had for his son, regardless of the nature of their relationship or the horrible things that Absalom did.

2 The story of David and Absalom really shows how not to behave, either as a parent or a son. In the end, Absalom was killed, and David lost his kingdom. David is to be commended, though, for his ability to love his son, but not his son's actions. Had David been able to elevate his love -- to love less humanly and more divinely as the prodigal's father did-- things may have been different.