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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Strict Parents

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Why are parents so strict?


Shayna Answers:

The aim of most strict parents is to protect their children. They may have experienced something that they're trying to shield us from, or they may recognize dangers in certain activities that we don't. Parents sometimes make rules tougher when they need to discipline us or to teach us to be more responsible. Whatever the case, parents who are strict are usually that way because they're trying to be good parents.

One of the downsides of being young is that we don't have as much insight into our actions as our parents do. A lot of things seem harmless because we don't have enough life experience to see long-term consequences.

When our parents give us limits and force us to abide by rules that we don't think are necessary, there's usually hidden rationale that we don't recognize. Ephesians 6:12 points out: "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

For example, by making your curfew 10 p.m. and not midnight, your parents know that you'll be sharing the road with fewer drunk drivers on your way home. When they limit your phone or computer time, they get you in the habit of living a balanced life, so that you'll manage your time better as an adult. When they make you stay and wash every last dish before you go out, they're teaching you how to be self-sufficient and responsible later on. The list could go on.

Unfortunately, most of us never say anything such as, "My dad wouldn't let me go out again last night. He must really love me." It's a lot easier to accept what our limited understanding of the situation suggests: that our parents are old, out of touch, and understand nothing about what we're dealing with.

It's important to learn to trust our parents, though, because our relationship with our parents parallels our relationship with God. It's our parents' job to teach us how to be kind, empathetic, and spiritually-aware people. They have a charge from God to form our minds and our characters. And because of the degraded and sinful world that we live in, maybe your parents' rules can seem strict in contrast to other parents' standards.

However, part of growing up is learning how to make decisions for ourselves. For most of us, the way that we do this is by modeling what our parents did. Eventually, in order to please God, you'll probably do things that to your friends seem strange and strict.

You'll come to realize that by trusting your parents, even though you didn't know why they enforced "stupid" rules, it'll be easier to believe that God always has our best interest at heart as Isaiah 55:9 and Proverbs 3:5 promise. Isaiah 55:9 says: "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Proverbs 3:5 advises: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

Explaining your side of things to your parents will help to alleviate irrational fears that they might have about your friends or activities. Also, by maintaining open communication, you'll demonstrate that you can be trusted. You'll be on the right track to building a strong relationship with your parents. And who knows? They might even relax a little bit.

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