, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

June 2, 2014

Respect remains an important part of family life

I’ve actually had parents tell me, “I love my children, but honestly, I just don’t like them these days!”

There is almost nothing more frustrating as a parent than to feel you’re not being respected by your children. I’m sure my parents probably felt the same way when I was a child, as parents have for generations. It’s just part of the process of kids discovering their boundaries, becoming their own person, and taking responsibility for their own actions.  

So, in part 2 of my series “Family Life,” I will take a look at the benefits of respect within the family unit.

Showing respect to all family members is important, not only to help keep things running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. But there are other rewards, too, especially when it comes to respect between parents and children. The Bible speaks to this issue.

Solomon made a lot of mistakes in his quest for wisdom. But when all was said and done, he wrote down things he learned which are still of great value for today’s families who are wise enough to apply the lessons he learned so long ago.

In Proverbs 1:8-9 Solomon says, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.”  

Most people already know this, but I’m going to say it anyway. Children feel more secure when they have boundaries in their lives. Children who live with little accountability actually admire families in which the parents and children have close relationships. Those bonds are cemented by mutual respect when children know their parents love and care enough about them to enforce reasonable boundaries. And when a parent feels that a child appreciates their instruction, the parent/child relationship grows. So parents, please never feel like you’re the bad guy when you enforce household rules. Your children respect you for it, even though they don’t want you to know it.

In a letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul made a reference to commandment number 5 of the 10 Commandments. He said, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother — which is the first commandment with a promise — so it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth (Eph. 6:1-3).”   

We would all do well to show respect for the advice and experiences of our parents and others who have journeyed this life ahead of us. In some cases, respect means following their lead, and in other cases, learning from their mistakes. Have a great week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or

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