Parents are God’s creation. As children, parents are your first mentors, guardian angels, providers, and of course your first line of defence. To be a parent must certainly rank as one of the highest form of fulfilment in life. A friend of mine recently took delivery of his first child.
In an ideal setting, your parents should really be your best friends, but I know we don’t live in an ideal world. Nevertheless, your parents deserve the highest level of respect from you. That means in speech and in conduct, whether they are there for you or not. You don’t talk back at them, especially rudely. You don’t shout at them, not even behind them. No respect with eye-service. This cuts across every sphere of human life, whether they are right or wrong, you respect them. Yes, I hear you scream, “It’s not fair!” Maybe it’s not, but God never gave us the luxury of an option, and in any case, are you going to question God? I hope not.
The idea of a child helping a parent may sound somehow, especially if we are not talking of a parent who is physically or mentally challenged. After all, the parent is the one that should be doing all the helping while the child should just be the recipient, right? ermmm wrong !!! Parents can sometimes be vulnerable, naïve and ignorant about some issues of life and trying to navigate their way out of these issues at times may prove quite a difficult task for them. True, many parents may present a front of being in charge, all knowing and on top of everything, but in actual fact they may not have a clue. The reality of that comes out when eventually that particular issue falls flat in their face.
As a child, how much do you get involved in your family affairs? How relevant are you in the scheme of things in your house? What level of support do you give your parents at home? Are you an asset or a liability? There are a lot of children who are guest in their own homes. When they are home, they might as well not be there, because aside from eating and if one is lucky, appear once in a while in the living room, they just bury themselves in their rooms. They don’t lift a finger to do any house chores and when they manage to lift a finger, it would have been the aftermath of world war three between mum and the child.
There are benefits, privileges and rights that come with being a child in a family setting. There are also responsibilities. As a child, you cannot take the benefit of being a son or being a daughter and not want to take the responsibilities that come with that status. Helping your mum and dad to give you a good upbringing also means sometimes you need to support them in the running of the household. Some of that help will be laid on you as duties, but many others come with using your initiative and discretion. They can be as simple as checking that the lights in the house are switched off at the appropriate time, your room is tidy, you wash your plate and yes that of others after meals, wash the family car, accompany them to family outings even when you find it boring (it’s called commitment).
Whenever a child is on the war path with the parents, justification is often found in the irresponsible or despicable behaviour of the parent. In truth, a careful objective assessment of the issue at hand may find in favour of the “victim child.” But should the answer to the parents’ behaviour be a tooth for a tooth. Is that the mind of Christ? Two passages in the Bible tell me otherwise. Ephesians 6: 1-2 says: “Honour your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), "that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land." The second Bible passage is found in Luke 6: 31-32, which says: ”Do to others as you would like them to do to you. If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them.” The consequence of disobedience to your parents has been clearly and explicitly spelt out in Ephesians 6: 1-2, namely that if you want to live long and if you want life to go well with you, then honour them. The honour to your parents is not dependent on being nice to you; it is a commandment out of commitment not out of convenience. Keep this in view anytime you feel the need to take your pound of flesh against them.
Generally speaking, it is important and helpful to always consider what the aftermath of the actions or inactions we take can result in. If we are blinded by our anger and hurt, we will eventually reap the consequence of that act. A few of such consequences can show up in the future as: loneliness, hatred, shame, unfulfilled dreams, recycled affliction of disobedience from your own children etc.
There may come times in your relationship with your parents when trying to access them may prove a daunting task. It may even be a case in which you need one parent to help you access the other, for a wrong committed and to help appease the angry parent. As a child, you will do yourself a world of good to always have handy someone that you know can access your parents when this extreme situation occurs. Of course, it goes without saying that this person will be someone that your parents revere and hold in the highest esteem. But before you access this person, be sure that you have done everything within your power and indeed within your nuclear family setting to resolve the matter.