The Bible is not silent on how parents and children should relate. In some cases it addresses each of these groups in isolation. In the Bible, parents are superior in all aspects yet children are permitted not to yield to bad advise even when it comes from parents.
When the Bible says ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right’ (Ephesians 6:1) it means that parents should guide their children on all that the child can or should do which is within the Lord’s commandments. Another verse that supports this though is in Colossians 3:17 where the Bible teaches everyone to do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus. No one can lie, cheat, hate, gossip, fornicate, steal, and the list goes on, doing in the name of Jesus. It is not possible.
Who is a child and who is a parent?
It is normal for young ones to consult with older people, particularly children consulting their blood related elderly people. The African culture supports the belief that every elderly person who falls within the age group of one’s parents is that person’s parent. It is believed that a child is raised by the entire village. In the same way, any person who could be your child in terms of age is your child in the African culture belief. I know that this may differ in other parts of the world yet for purposes of this article I would love for us to adopt the African belief. I’m not sure of the biblical position on this matter.
Whenever a young person consults an elderly person, the elderly person often feels responsible for protecting the child from harm. The tendency is to take interest in saving the child from stress, costs and all other things that could make the young one’s life unpleasurable. I believe this comes naturally as parenting has a lot to do with protecting someone from harm.
In such positions, it is easy for the elderly person to give advise that is contrary to what the Bible teaches. Below I give examples of some wrong advise that caring parents could give:
- Do not pay for your TV license because the national station gives poor service.
- If you no longer have feelings for your wife / husband you should opt for a divorce.
- You may register your children as Orphaned and Vulnerable to get government sponsorships for their school fees.
- You must under declare your income to reduce your tax bill.
- You should not declare everything you have or do to your legally married spouse.
When sinners entice you, do not yield to them (Proverbs 1:10). It does not matter whether they are old or young.
Everyone should know that the Bible says that everyone will give an account on what he or she has done while in the flesh (2 Corinthians 5:10). Excuses of getting wrong advise from parents will not be acceptable in judgement. God’s judgement is merciless. The person or parent that gave you the wrong advise will be answerable for that error and you for what you did. I warn you that God never changes His mind for any reason (Numbers 23:19).
Therefore, if a pastor or any other person of any rank in the world whom you can call a parent advises you to do that which suits you and his/her interests yet it is contrary to what the Bible teaches, you should not yield.