It is painful to be the parent of a fool; there is no joy for the father of a rebel. – Proverbs 17:21
Only a fool despises a parent’s discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise. – Proverbs 15:5
It seems to me that for most people there is an inbred desire to make their parents proud. Every kid at the diving board will always yell out to their mom or dad, “look mom, watch my new trick!” (right before the painful bellyflop). Why do they do that? They do it because they have a desire to please their parents, they have a desire to have their parents approval. The way this desire looks over the years changes, but the desire never changes. Still, to this day, I desire the approval of my parents. I want to be a man that makes them proud. I want to be a man of whom my dad can proudly say, “That's my boy!”
But despite our deep desire to please our parents, there are lots of people who have conflict with them. That conflict can come for many reasons, but whatever the reasons, the bible still says that we must do everything within our power to live peaceably with all people (yes, that includes our parents).
God has called the parents to rule the house and the kids to obey. Teenagers don't like that, but God has His order for a reason. Teens want to do what they want to do, and if their parents disagree, conflict begins. For some households, that conflict is never ending. Day by day there is conflict after conflict – yelling, screaming, fighting, doors slamming, you name it. In some houses, even christian houses, peaceful days are few and far between. It's a shame. It shouldn't be that way.
Of course, many teenagers are going to blame their parents. “My parents don't understand me. My parents have no idea what its like to be a teenager in these days. My parents never let me do anything.” And while it may be true that your parents aren't the greatest in the world, the bible still commands you to obey them. There is not verse that says, “If your parents do everything right, then obey them.” No it says, “Obey your parents.”
Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to The Lord. – Col 3:20
Notice that there is no qualifiers in there. It doesn't say, “Children, if your parents are perfect, obey them in all things.” It just says obey, plain and simple.
The only time this would not apply is if your parents ask you to do something that is forbidden by The Lord. In that case you “must obey God, rather than man.” But in most instances this isn't the problem. It's more likely the problem of not doing your homework, or the dishes, or taking out the trash.
Why should teenagers obey their parents?
1. You're going to have kids one day, and you're going to want them to obey you!
2. God tells you to. (This should be reason enough)
3. Life will go well for you. You'll find that the more your parents can trust you, the more freedom they will give you. You'll find that your parents will begin to look for ways to give you things. They'll be more willing to buy you that nice car, give you money, help you with your chores, etc. You'd be amazed at how much your parents would appreciate it if you obeyed them. They would bend over backwards to do for you whatever they could. They will want to give you whatever you ask for.
4. You will live long upon the earth. God will see to it that your life is extended upon the earth as a reward for obeying your parents. He will set his angels around you to protect you. You will also find that your parents advice isn't as bad as you thought it was. Following it just may save your life.
These reasons to obey your parents aren't just made up. You can find them in Ephesians 6:
Children, obey your parents in The Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and your mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long upon the earth. Eph 6:1-3
The devil wants nothing more than to bring conflict between you and your parents. He will do his best to convince you that your parents are morons that know nothing. Look at the media. Look at the vast majority of tv shows and movies that depict family life. You'll see that most of the time the parents are dimwits that don't know anything. Inspector Gadget was a bumbling fool, if it wasn't for his niece and her dog he would never accomplished anything. Homer Simpson is a dimwitted drunk, his wife an air head – good thing Lisa and Bart are there to save the day. The Rugrats were infinitely smarter than their parents, even if they were barely old enough to walk. The list goes on and on. It may not be the case in every show or movie, but you'll find it, as a rule, to be generally true. Its a subtle tactic of the enemy to fuel the idea that your parents know nothing.
Your parents are actually smarter than you think. They've been through life a little longer than you have and have picked up some things along the way. They may not practice what they preach, but that doesn't mean that what they preach isn't true.
Jesus told the people of his day to do everything that the Pharisees told them to do, but not to imitate them, because they were hypocrites.
So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don't follow their example. For they don't practice what they teach. – Matthew 23:3
The same may be true for your parents. They may not practice what they preach, but if you are wise, you may discern that what they preach is true, regardless, and is still good advice, even if they didn't take it themselves.
Solomon was the wisest man to ever live. We value his books of extreme wisdom that he left behind. But did you realize that he didn't practice what he preached? He became the fool that he so often wrote about, and his latter days were an utter failure. Since that is the case, should we not read his writings? Should we not obey his wisdom? No, we should. God even thought his writings worthy to be counted among holy scripture. Yes, the writings of a hypocrite.
Maybe your parents are hypocrites. That's unfortunate, but it is still no reason to disobey them.
But you may not want to be like your parents. Is that a good reason not to obey them? Not hardly. Few teenagers want to be like their parents. Maybe they see their parents as failures, overweight, boring, working at a dead end job that they complain about every day. Even if thats the case, that's all the more reason to obey your parents. They don't want you to end up like them if they are miserable. They want to warn you of the mistakes they have made so that you don't repeat them! So often the very teenagers that desperately want to be different than their parents end up exactly as they are. Why? Because they don't listen. They don't realize that they are making the EXACT same mistakes they made. It may be too late when they finalize realize that their 'stupid' parents were a lot smarter than they realized.
But what if you really are smarter than your parents? Is that a good reason not to obey them? Let's let Jesus be our answer for this question. Jesus was infinitely smarter than his earthly parents. Yet even so, the bible says that He was 'obedient to them.' (Lk 2:51) If He was, than so should we.
The bible says that a FOOL despise's their parents discipline. I know it may not be the cool thing to do, but honoring your parents is what God requires. And if you want life to go well for you, and if you want to live long upon the earth and enter into life when you die, than you need to obey God in this matter as well as in anything else. Don't be a fool.
I was a teenager not to long ago. I remember thinking that my parents were stupid, too uptight, out of touch, etc. Now I realize that I was the stupid one. The same story is true with ALL of my friends who have survived their teenager years. I've never met one that said, “I wish I was more rebellious.” Not a one!
I know its hard. I know its not 'cool.' But please, listen to your parents. It's only for a few more years. Soon you will be an adult, and you'll be out from under their tyranny. Those days are coming, and I promise you, you won't look back at your teenage years in regret if you honor your parents.