How To Enjoy Living With Your Parents

June 26, 2012

How to Enjoy Living With Your Parents

The Problem

                You are not a normal teen-ager if you are not, at times, disappointed and disenchanted with your parents.  You have now begun to do some independent thinking.  No longer do you take the “that’s just the way it is” explanation that is passed on to you.  You have started saying, “Why is it that way and why can’t there be a better way?”  You have begun to evaluate the merits and demerits of modern life.  You may be convinced that you have come across some novel, water tight, solutions to modern problems.  You quickly become impatient when your elders fail to readily accept your suggestions.

Your parents have some standards that, to you, seem as foolish as trying to cross the ocean in a bath tub.  When mom and dad refuse to give any serious thought to your suggestions you seek other means of confronting them.  The avenue most young people then follow is to drop out of the world of their parents lives in an attempt to live in a world of their own.  They seek to build for themselves a world where their “high standards” are at least highly respected even though they may not have the opportunity of putting them in force.

What is the proper response for you as a teen ager?  Don’t expect to drastically reshape the thinking of your parents.  They have been doing independent thinking much longer than you have.  Many of the standards to which they now adhere have been hammered out on the anvil of personal experience and personal observation.  They are passing on to you the ideals and opinions that have helped them find some measure of security and direction in this complicated world.  Whether or not the advice they are passing on to you is expert, you aught to believe that they are giving it to you in love.  Your evaluation of the problems may be much more accurate then theirs but remember that it’s new and untried to them.  They would rather have you walk in the old ways that are familiar to them.  They know where they will lead you.  They are not at all sure where your suggestions will lead you.

Unless your parents are asking you to do things that are definitely immoral or unscriptural, it’s not wise to rebel at their advice.  You are young yet.  You will have opportunity later on to begin practicing some of your ideas that you think will set the world on fire.  In the mean time you can be doing more thinking.  Perhaps by the time you are ready to put your ideas into practice you will have come to realize that they are sheer folly or nonsense.  On the other hand, it may be that when the time comes all your thinking will have you all the more convinced of their wisdom.  This will make you all the more enthusiastic and you will labor all the harder to prove their merits.

Keep in mind also that your parents, like you, have a certain measure of pride.  Granted, pride is sin.  Never the less, it is a part of human nature that you must learn to recon with.  Pride is going to keep your parents from throwing to the wind their ideas and standards and, in reality, saying “My children have more common sense than I do.”  No mater how much merit there may be in your suggestions, you may find that your parents will flatly close their minds to it.  They may refuse to give it the least little bit of consideration.  Their pride may keep them from conceding that you have something that makes sense.

You must confess that pride carries a lot of weight in your life.  Is it right for you to condemn in others what you condone in yourself?  Of course not!  Therefore, don’t be exasperated when your parents pride keeps you from having your way. After all, you do benefit in many ways from your parent’s pride.  It is pride that makes your parents say; “I want my children to have clothes that are just as nice as all the other children have.”  Many times a loving father has worked overtime for many weeks just so he could buy his daughter a formal for those special senior ceremonies.   Be careful that you do not condemn what may also be to your benefit.

How successful you are in reshaping the thinking of your parents depends, to a great extent, upon the manner in which you go about it.  If you are rude in attacking the norms and standards of your parents, I can assure you that you will not be very successful.

If your suggestions have any merit at all then they deserve to be offered in the manner in which they are most apt to be accepted.  Junior is looking for trouble if he says; “Dad don’t bring the car home with the gas tank empty like you did the last time I wanted it.”  That approach is going to make it progressively more difficult for junior to obtain permission to use the family car.

Parents will more quickly respond to young people who are thoughtful, courteous, and always remember to show appreciation.  Do you thank Dad for the use of the family car?  Many young people act as though they have just as much right to the family car as mom and dad.  Of course they wouldn’t want to take just as much responsibility for the expenses.

An excellent approach is that of asking for your parent’s advice.  Tell them that you have been wondering why something isn’t done a certain way.  Ask them if they know why.  Ask them what would be wrong with doing it that way, of if you want to take the positive approach, ask them if they don’t think this would be a good way to do it.

Your parents like to have a part in your intellectual development, and to be sure, they should be given an opportunity to have a part in it.  They are gratified when you ask them questions about complicated affairs of life upon which you are attempting to form opinions.  They will be much more sympathetic with you if they feel that they have had a part in shaping your conclusions.  When you come to them and say “This is what I think and I expect you to think the way I do” they aren’t going to get very excited about it.

Love your parents.  You are God’s gift to your parents to fulfill a basic need in their lives.  A normal individual desires to love and be loved.  Your parents have loved you and you owe them love in return.  You can’t expect to have a happy relationship with your parents if you don’t love them.  Even if you don’t think your parents love you as much as they should, you should still love them.  It will greatly improve your home relationship.

Be affectionate.  It’s not just for babies and sissies.  Go out of your way to do things for them to show them that you love them.  Just for no reason at all, buy mom a box of candy.  Buy Dad a new tie or a good book or some other little thing to please him.  When they have gone out of their way to do something special for you, be quick to express your appreciation.  Don’t accept favors greedily as though you think you have a right to expect them since they are your parents.


The Biblical Standard of Obedience

I.  Parents are God’s representatives

  1. In the oriental concept, the family is a little kingdom.  The father is the king.
  2. Exodus 20:12  Honor means to look up to with respect as to a king or sovereign
  3. In the ten commandments the one to honor parents follows immediately after those dealing with the individuals relationship to \God
  4. In Leviticus 19:3 it is listed first among prerequisites for holiness
    1. Honor and obedience
      1. Parents must demand respect and obedience
        1. Many either fail to do this, or wait to long before they start
        2. Many are inconsistent in this
        3. Deuteronomy 21:18-21
        4. It probably rarely, if ever, happened that a son was so rebellious that he had to be put to death
    2. Respect for parents authority
      1. Position of the child was about the same as that of the servants
    3. Children must be in subjection  I Timothy 3:4
    4. Disobedience to parents is included among the list of crimes that will characterize the last days.  II Timothy 3:1-5  “From such turn away.”

B.     Severe penalty demanded for rebellion and disobedience


All of this teaching has two aspects.

  1. Parents responsibility
  2. The responsibility of the children

There needs to be harmony between the two.  Both must fulfill their obligation.  Not nearly as much is demanded of modern teenagers as was demanded of Old Testament teenagers.

Living together is Sharing Together

Romans 12:10


If sharing together is not a common practice in your home then you are not really living together.  You are living your own life at the expense of others.  Some one must suffer.  You may not suffer now but you will later when there is no one to wait on you and you fall under the full responsibility of caring for yourself.

  1. Sharing in the joys of life
  • If you have ever watched pigs drink milk from a trough you know that is not the way to do it.
  1. You should expect no greater portion of the blessing than all the rest

* Suppose you win a turkey in a drawing. Should you get a bigger portion?

  1. Think of others first.  There is only one piece of pie left.  What do you do?
    1. The radio
    2. The television
    3. The computer
    4. The recliner
    5. Sharing is responsibility  II Thessalonians 3:10
      1. There is no household so mechanized that there is no work left to do.
      2. If you regard work as a dirty word, you need to get things straightened out
      3. There is dignity in work.  The majority of the moral upright people in the world are working people
C.     Things to share
You And The Family Car

Note:  Much of the material for this lesson is adapted from Christian Worker’s Service Bureau Inc. Material

Theme Introduction There is no doubt about it—the “horseless carriage” is here to stay!  Even in an age in which we speak in glowing terms of jets and rockets and nuclear engines, the automobile is still tops with the teens!  Not only has the auto taken over a big place in the hearts and customs of young people, but it has also provided one of the key industries in our nation.  When the automobile market sags, our entire industry droops.

From the earliest times, when a motorist was likely to get a speeding ticket if he went faster than 5 miles an hour, the automobile has brought along its own special set of problems.  In most cases, the mechanical troubles have been fixed, or are easily repaired by the local mechanic.  There are other, more personal, problems, however, that seem to cause lots of trouble, especially between teen-agers and their parents.  Let’s talk over the car question and see if we can’t come up with some answers that will be helpful to both sides.  In other words, we’ll try using our brain power to solve some of the problems of horse-power, in order to make our homes more spiritually powerful for the Lord.

QUIZ “Chariots” : Old and New

(Give reference whenever needed to get the correct answer.)

  1. Teenage drivers are often accused of being reckless drivers, even though many of them are top-notch at the wheel.  What Old Testament man was described in these words; “He driveth furiously”?  (Jehu – II Kings 9:20)
  2. In the United States each year, thousands of people die in highway accidents, most of which are caused by carelessness.  What Old Testament king had a “fatal accident” while his chariot was in the midst of a battle?  (Ahab—I Kings 22:34)
  3. Many modern automobiles are named for birds or heavenly bodies, such as “Comets”, “Thunderbirds”, and so on.  According to Psalm 104: 3 upon what kind of heavenly chariot does God ride?  (The clouds)
  4. Teenagers often decorate their cars with all sorts of fancy designs and bright sayings.  What prophet of God rode in a chariot of fire, in the midst of a whirl wind?  (Elijah—II Kings 2:11)
  5. Certain modern automobiles are considered to be “prestige” cars, and are coveted by many teenagers.  For example, autos of the thunderbird, or sports car styles have been very popular for several years.  What famous Jew was allowed to ride in the second chariot of Egypt, as a sign of his reputation?  (Joseph,  Genesis 11:41-43)

Parents are great.  The more you love them the more they will love you.


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