Father and daughter --best friends!
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor 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. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
Over the past few weeks I have had some interaction with some dear friends who are struggling with adult child/parent relationship. I know we all struggle to be good parents and obedient children, but this has become a very difficult dilemna for both child and parent. Unfortunately, I see both sides and can understand the problems that accompany the situation. I know, and they all know, that this relationship stems from both past and present actions and perceptions. In Ephesians 6:1-2 two commands are given: Children honor and obey; fathers, provoke not and nurture in the Lord. Not too difficult, huh?
Unfortunately, the "do not provoke" part historically is so often abused. In one way or another, we tend to overexert our authority or display our wrath in such a way that our children become angry (or exasperated, as the NIV puts it.) That anger may be expressed in fear, or in avoidance, or in retaliation in wrath, but it will be there nonetheless. And many times it progresses into adulthood. It is not easy for a parent to change his methods or for a child as he becomes an adult to lose the feelings of anger--or fear--or avoidance--or all of them.
Parents, grandparents, please seek the Lord's wisdom in your lives as you deal with your children. Seek to nurture them according to the Scriptures. Go to the passages that refer to teaching your children. Go to the Proverbs; emulate the teachings of the writers to their sons and daughters. Do not deal with them in such a way that it will leave permanent scars on their lives. And when and if you do, repent and ask that child for forgiveness immediately. Children are quick to forgive.
Children, obey and honor your parents!
With a heavy heart for broken relationships,