The desire of every parent and child is to find happiness in life and to live in a loving, happy family relationship. However, conflict, rebellion, lack of discipline, confusion and anxiety, often mar the peace and happy relationships that should reign in the family.The Christian who is seeking how to effect “rightness” in relationships is often the one who must first reach out to the other family members.
God’s desire is that all should come to a knowledge of the truth, be saved, empowered for life and grow up into the fullness of Christ. This requires self-discipline and the submitting of oneself to others. In the case of children, the submission is first of all to their parents in the Lord. Always, whether parent or child, one is to honour and to prefer the other above self (Romans 12:10).
What Scripture Says
“Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 12:28).
“The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him” (Proverbs 20:7).
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
‘Honour 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'” (Colossians 3:20).
What To Do
Your first need as a parent/child is for salvation and the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Ask Jesus to save you and fill you with His Holy Spirit. As a Spirit-filled Christian who is manifesting the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, meekness, faithfulness, patience and self-control, you will be a better example for the good in the family. The promise of Acts 16:31 is that all who believe in Jesus, along with their households, shall be saved. Claim and act upon the assurance of the fulfilment of this promise. If you are a Christian child in the home of your parents, the same promise applies. In obeying and respecting your parents, you are obeying and respecting the order God has placed in the home. God’s promise is that your testimony will work to draw your parents, brothers and sisters to Jesus for salvation. To disobey your parents is to disobey God, and that brings disorder, confusion and anxiety.
As a Christian parent, you must set a Godly example and be responsible for the training and disciplining of your child in the ways of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7; Hebrews 12:5, 6, 11). In so doing, you are expressing God’s love to your children which will bring them to a place of accepting Jesus Christ into their lives. There are spiritual principles that can make the difference in how God works in your affairs. One principle is to minister praise to God, giving God pre-eminence in all matters and in relationships. When one ministers to God, God ministers in return (1 Samuel 2:30b). Another principle is that of intercession. As you intercede for your children (or parents), be reminded of God’s promises to bring about salvation within every member of the family. Thank and praise Him for doing so. An intercessor stands as proxy before God in behalf of the persons for whom he is praying. He also does spiritual warfare against Satan and his wiles (Ephesians 6:12). As you pray in intercession, you bear the burdens of those prayed for. As you bear those burdens, you will have a better understanding of the person(s) which will lead to a greater love for them. Where there is love, relationships get closer and more loving. As love reigns, and as intercession is made, discipline, order in the home, and peace and joy in the family are sure to follow.
As You Pray
Ask God to give you a great love for your children (or parents). Ask Him to help you see all their praiseworthy traits. Ask for ways to bless them, thus building them up by appreciation, rather than criticising and depreciating them. Thank and praise God for giving you forgiveness toward them and the same to them for you. Thank Him for His love, praising Him in the sure knowledge that He can and will restore relationships between family members.
Guidance for parents:
Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 29:15
Guidance for children:
Ephesians 6:1-3, Colossians 3:20
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