For families, being a faithful and godly Christian home is not easy. The family dynamic faces so many challenges and conflict can easily erupt between parents and children. Some- times the tension between them is so great that it can turn into “domestic warfare.” The kids want to make their own decisions and do things their own way while the parents try to instruct the children to do what they’re told to do. If this tension is not handled properly it can lead to negative activities like: shouting and other improper speaking, rebellious acting out or tantrums, hurtful power struggles where each is trying to “one up” the other, guilt and shame, feelings of inadequacy or failure, low self-image or self-esteem, and many other harmful side effects.
God wants us to have happy and healthy homes. Furthermore, he has given his Word as a sure guide to restore peace when domestic warfare erupts. Let me sum up what I under- stand God’s instructions to be regarding the relationship between parents and children. First, parents are to recognize that their kids are a gift from God and they are to be faithful in their stewardship role of raising them “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4b). This means that parents are to be reasonable in their instructions while modeling their home after the Christian mandates. Teach your children, by direct instruction and also by example, what it means to have God first in your life.
Second, children are to do what their parents tell them and submit to their instructions (Ephesians 6:1-3). You are not yet an adult and God wants you to learn the necessary principle of submission to authority so that when you grow up you will know how to be spiritually mature. If you don’t learn about authority your life will be miserable.
God’s way is smarter than anything else we could devise. Therefore, in our homes let’s return to the plan for the family that God has laid out in his Word. Being a Christian home is not easy but God is able to help us face our challenges and he can restore peace to our families.
Prayer: “Lord, we ask that you pour out an abundant portion of your wisdom and grace to the families of this church. We pray that parents will lead in a godly way and that the children will humbly follow along the path that leads closer and closer to you. Please fortify faith in our homes and let peace reign in our families. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
Paul Merideth lives in Jeffersontown, KY and preaches for the Watterson Trail Church of Christ