“As for My people, children are their oppressors, And women rule over them…” Isaiah 3:12
When you are in some areas of the south, it is so refreshing to hear young people address their elders with, “No Sir!” or “Yes ma’am.” It is not a matter of geography–it is a matter of training!
It is so sad to hear little children talking back and showing gross disrespect toward their parents. One of the hazards of teaching in the public schools is the abuse teachers are taking from not only children, but also the parents. It is a common occurrence for a child to slap, kick, or (I have even heard of) spit on his teacher.
This spirit is creeping into our homes, Sunday schools and church schools. I have heard of two churches closing their schools because of the attitude of the children toward school authority.
Parents, “this ought not to be.” Why is this happening?
“The eye that mocks his father, and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it” (Proverbs 30:17).
1. We are lifting up our children as the center of our families.
Our culture is now limiting the number of the children in our families to one or two. As the number of children in the family decreases, their standing seems to increase. Our children have become the center of our universe. We spoil them and cater to them–fulfilling their every whim. As parents, we have become their servants.
It is not healthy to raise children who feel that life will give them everything they wish. Children are to be valued–but it is the husband/wife relationship that is to be nurtured, for it is the permanent relationship–“until death do us part.”
2. We feel guilty when we expect our child to perform family chores.
Due to the cares of this life and the quest for material possessions, we do not have a lot of time for them, so we feel guilty and substitute “things” for time. When we take time for them, we feel that it must always be recreational time, so we train them to desire always to be entertained. Children should spend time working alongside of their parents, learning the skills and responsibilities of life.
3. We are allowing our children to question our judgment.
Parents, we are allowing our children to whine, badger and negotiate every decision we make; this places children as equals and destroys parental authority. A parent must make decisions based upon the principles of God’s Word as well as a God-given parental instinct as to what is best for the child.
When you, as a parent, make a decision, you must not allow your child to change it, unless after prayer God shows you that you were wrong. If you make a habit of changing your decisions, then you are just encouraging your child to argue – again and again.
4. We are not modeling respect for authority.
Do we watch the remarks we make concerning our own parents, pastor, teachers and police officers? Parents, if we do not model respect, we cannot train our children to respect authority. Children will not selectively respect.
One day a mother, with her son, marched into my office and demanded that I defend my decision to suspend her son for swearing at the Librarian. She said she had heard her son’s side and now she wanted to hear mine–then she would decide who was right. I told her I would be willing to talk with her, but not in front of the boy. She insisted, I refused. As I turned, she hit me square in the middle of my back.
I had another mother who slapped the counselor across the face while in a conference concerning her children. I had to dive between them to save the counselor.
How do we train our children to respect their elders and all authority? (Isaiah 28: 9,10) We teach by example; we discipline all back-talk. We do not give in when our children try to wear us down by arguments. We expect them to address all authority with respect. We also show them respect.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3 NKJV
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