When Mom & Dad Are Wrong

In Teens After God's Own Heart by Jackie Gable1 Comment

By Jackie Gable

Let’s be honest — young people don’t always cherish and agree with the authority of their mom and dad. There’s probably dozens of times you thought they had no clue what they were talking about. While parents generally are smarter than their little offspring running around half their age, they still are human and sinners…just like you.

Being a parent to a little four-month-old, I can foresee many parental difficulties – will he know I love him and want what’s best for him; will he want to follow God based on my example; how will my sin effect his life? It’s intimidating to be responsible for the physical and spiritual needs of a child, knowing that I’m far from perfect!

So, as a child – excuse me, “young adult,” – how should you deal with your parent’s inconsistencies and flaws? There’s a good example in the Bible of some parents who really messed up and caused their children to pay a hefty price. Remember Isaac and Rebekah and their two sons, Jacob and Esau? Although Isaac was the son of Abraham, the father of God’s chosen people, he was not the best example of a father.

Likewise, Rebekah showed major favoritism that caused her and her son to lie and steal! Both of these parents failed to trust God and sought after their own lusts. As a result, the two boys paid the price of bitterness, anger, and resentment. Jacob struggled to follow God and repeated many of his father and grandfather’s sins. Esau left being bitter and anger and never came to a saving knowledge of the truth! Hebrews 12:17 says, “For ye know how that afterward, when he {Esau} would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” How tragic it is to cause another’s rejection of God because of your actions!

You may identify with Jacob or Esau. Perhaps you can see some glaring flaws in one or both your parents. Well, don’t be dismayed – you CAN make a difference and be different!

{Evaluate}

God specifically gave you to your parents and your parents to you. He has placed them into your life for a reason and given them authority over you. You are responsible to obey and submit to their leadership (Ephesians 6:1). The Lord will be pleased with a submissive attitude no matter how right or wrong your parents may be.

And before you go pointing the finger at mom and dad for messing up, you better first line it up with the Bible. Petty disagreements don’t count. Remember, God has given them wisdom which you may be blinded to. Sometimes you must simply trust.

A common thing you may notice is hypocrisy. The movie and music standards are different at home than at church or around other church families. Dad may have an anger problem that never gets resolved. Faithfulness in church or church ministries doesn’t seem to be a priority. Or maybe there is a lack of spirituality in your home – Jesus is never talked about except at dinner’s prayer.

If you see some of these things in your home, there is hope! Remember, you can make a difference. You don’t have to be defeated or follow suit.

{Pray}

One of the most powerful things you can do for your parents is pray for them. They have a big job raising you! They struggle with many of the same things you struggle with plus a dozen other grown-up things. They need your prayer support more than ever. Tell them when you pray for them and don’t be shy about being specific. Pray for yourself, too. You need to have a good attitude and honorable heart toward God.

It’s okay for you to start a conversation about the Bible at the dinner table, too. And when you’re done with that missionary biography or character-building book you had to read in school, pass it on to them.

{Stand}

One of the best things you can do in your teen years is to develop personal convictions. You’re a young adult now; no longer a child. Soon, very soon, you will be on your own. You won’t be “spoon fed” by your parents and Christian teachers. If you know the music selection in your home is not pleasing to God, then determine to not make it apart of your collection. As hard as it may be to forgo movie night with the family, if it means taking a stand for truth, so be it! You don’t have to be spiritually defeated by another’s sin. You don’t have to have a life-long struggle with bitterness or anger. Learn from the examples of Jacob and Esau.

{Rise}

The older you get and the more you grow in Christ, the more you will see and understand the depravity of mankind and the grace of our God. Be a young lady who rises above the earthly battle and focuses on pleasing your Lord. Be a Josiah and conquer the temptation and evil that’s all around. Finally, don’t be discouraged when those around you do mess up – even when it’s mom and dad.

Jackie Gable

Jackie had the privilege of being raised in a pastor’s home where she was personally mentored by her mother. She has a passion for teaching and encouraging young ladies throughout their teenage years.

She and her husband, Chris, serve the Lord together in the Youth Ministry at LVBC and currently have three children, Robby, Lauren, and Daniel.

Read Jackie’s articles here and read her salvation testimony here.

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