“No matter how old you are, you will always be my child.”
Ever heard your parents tell this to you? It’s absolutely true. To your parents, you will always be their child. But being their child, is different from being a child. While you will always be their child, you will not always be a child.
As young adults, how should we relate to our parents? Whether you live at home or away from home, all of you sense that your relationship with your parents is (or should be) changing. So, how should you as a young adult relate to your parents? If you already have your college degree and are working full-time, does that change how you relate to your parents?
For insight on this matter, we must turn to God’s Word. Scripture repeatedly calls a person to honor his or her father and mother (Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16; Matt. 15:4; 19:9; Mark 7:10; Eph. 6:2; Luke 18:20). Chances are, you have also heard Ephesians 6:1, which says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (also Col. 3:20).
Notice that these verses indicate that while all people are commanded to honor their parents, only children are required to obey their parents.
However, this is a process requiring discernment. As a child, it was simple. Do what your parents say (Eph. 6:1). But you are no longer a child. Yet you must still honor them.
So, how do you as an adult honor your parents? Let me give you two suggestions. The first way to honor your parents is to seek out their wisdom. Having raised you to adulthood, your parents have much wisdom to share with you. Go ask for it. You should only go against your parents’ counsel if you have a really good reason. The second way to honor your parents is to serve them sacrificially (time and finances allowing). Here are some potential ways to do this. Tell your parents that you want to honor them by doing more chores. Ask to pay a share of the bills. Ask if you can pay for dinner sometimes.
Though the command to honor your father and mother will always apply, your relationship with them will change. How can you honor your parents?
- How would you characterize your relationship with your parents? Do you see them as a wise source of counsel in your life? What kind of attitude do you have towards them?
- What are some practical ways you can show honor to your parents? Are there any ways you can help around the home?
Written by Jonathan Szeto. Artwork by Shirley Lu