Love And Respect Your Parents

August 2, 2012

Love And Respect Your Parents

            One of the qualities young people should have is love and respect for their parents.  Joseph, in the Old Testament, set us a good example.  His mother died when he was very young; perhaps he didn’t even remember her.  That may be the reason why he was very close to his father.  Fathers aren’t perfect.  The father of Joseph was no exception.  Most likely the abuse Joseph suffered from his brothers was because his father favored him too much.  We don’t know if Joseph realized that.  If he did, it doesn’t appear that he held any ill will towards his father because of it.

I trust you remember the circumstances that suddenly cut Joseph off from his home ties.  If not, you can read about it in Genesis chapter 37.  In the years he was separated from his home it’s doubtful that he knew that his father thought he was dead.  During his years inEgypthe must have often thought about his father.  When his brothers appeared inEgypt, even before he revealed himself to them, he asked “Is your father yet alive?” (Genesis 43:7)

It’s sad to see the great lack of love many young people have for their parents.  It’s almost to be expected that there will be conflicts in the relationship of young people with their parents.  Why is that?  In part, at least, it’s because children and young people don’t have the love and respect they should have for their parents.  Teen ager, you need to be reminded of the sacrifices your parents have made for you.  Your mother suffered a lot of discomfort and pain to give birth to you.  She has cared  for you since you were a helpless baby.  Your father worked hard to provide for you and protect you.  That’s why it would be a shame and disgrace to hear you speak contemptuously of your parents

Emotions are among the first things to develop in a new born.  They quickly recognize their parents with a smile when they give them attention.  They quickly realize it when they are in the arms of someone they don’t know.  It would be ideal if a similar close relationship would continue.

Young man, young lady, you need to love your parents.  They were given to you in the providence of God.  You need to look for ways to express your love for them.  Listen respectfully when they speak to you.  They have much more wisdom than you do.  It’s to your advantage to listen and learn all you can from them.  The relationship God wants you to have with your parents is found in Ephesians 6:1-3.  “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.    Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;   That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”

How should  you respond if you don’t think your parents have given you wise advice?  It could be that you are mistaken.  If possible, you can consult with others; preferably not with those of your own age. I would suggest that you talk to your pastor or youth pastor. If their advice gives you reason to continue questioning the wisdom of your parents, ask humbly and respectfully to talk to them about it.  Tell them how you are thinking and what others have said.  After all is said, you need to follow up by saying, “Never-the-less, I’m willing to listen to you because I love and respect you.”

Unfortunately, there are parents who don’t deserve to be respected by their children.  I feel sorry for young people who have reason to be ashamed of their parents.  Some have parents who are drunkards.  Some parents are greatly lacking in character and expect their children to do things that they know are wrong.  Some parents suffer because of their children, but there are also children who suffer because of their parents.  What relationship should you have with your parents if they are negligent in their duty?  Here are some suggestions.

Try not to expose the sin of your parents. At times you may need to recognize it.  If you can’t speak well of your parents, if possible it’s best not to say anything.

Make an attempt to help them see what you are suffering because of them.  Do it in love.  Keep your cool.  You might say, Ï would like to invite some of my friends  to come over to my house, but I’m afraid I would be embarrassed by your behavior.”

Assure them that you are praying for them.   I trust you are praying for them.  Take advantage of moments when they recognize that they have a problem and say, “ I’m praying that God will help you get victory over your sin.”

Love and obey them anyhow.  Normally it’s the young people who want liberty to do something wrong.  There are parents, however, who ask their children to lie, cheat and steal.  Do young people have an obligation to obey them?     Ephesians 6:1 says “Obey your parents in the Lord.”  The words “in the Lord” mean with God’s permission.  He isn’t going to give you permission to do what’s wrong.  It would be better to suffer the punishment of your parents than the wrath of God.  It would be wise for you to tell your parents that you know it’s wrong.  Most likely your parents will agree with you.  If not, you could ask,  “If I get caught and am punished for it, can I say that my father/mother told me to do it?” Biblically, parents have authority to punish their children if they disobey.  If you find yourself in this awkward situation, pray that God will change your parents and deliver you.

Regardless of whether you think your parents are worthy of your respect, you should love them.    Love for your parents is shown by thinking of things you can do for their well being.  You don’t need to wait to be asked to do something around the house.  Don’t expect to be paid for everything you do.  Girls, you can wash the dishes, sweep the floor and straighten up your room without being told to do it.  Boys, you can also keep your room neat, water the flowers, mow the grass, or wash the car without being told to do it.  When Joseph knew that his father was still alive he sent his brothers home with wagons enough to bring his father and all he had back toEgypt.  You can read about it in Genesis 45:23-28.

Young people who love their parents and go out of their way to do things for them are more apt to get what they ask of their parents.  You can’t expect your parents to love you if you don’t love them.  “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men [your parents] should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.   (Matthew 7:12).

This advice is given assuming you are a child of God.  If you aren’t, you need to be.  Otherwise it will be difficult to accept this advice.  Be grateful for your parents.  It’s very common, in inner cities, to find children and young people in the streets whose parents have cast them out.  They sleep in the street at night.  They raid garbage cans to find food to eat.  They open and close taxi cab doors in hopes they will get a tip.

Thank God for your parents.  Pray for them and look for ways of showing them that you love them.  They aren’t perfect, but they are the only parents you will ever have.


Our E-mail address is


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.