“Honor your mother and father, so that you may live long in the land the Lord is giving you.”
When it comes to a relationship with your parents, you have two options: a relationship where you guys are constantly at each other’s throats, or one where there’s open communication and understanding. I imagine that most of you girls don’t want to be arguing with your parents all the time or having a bunch of issues, but somehow, you just can’t avoid the disagreements. They don’t understand me. Everyone else is allowed to do it. Things are different from when you guys were young. We’ve all had these thoughts before when our parents won’t let us do something or we are being disciplined. And whether it’s a lack of freedom, “too strict” disciplining, them not understanding your emotions, etc., it seems like there is a disconnect between you and your parents, am I right?
Well the thing is, this disconnect can be minimized or completely eliminated. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But it’s true- you can have a great relationship with your parents without all the roller-coaster ups and downs. But you have to want a good relationship and be willing to work for it- just like any other relationship. The more effort and time you put into it, the more the relationship will thrive.
The biggest thing that you have to realize is: your parents are NOT your enemy. While it may seem like it sometimes when they won’t let you go to a party or be in a relationship, they’re not trying to ruin your life. When it comes down to it, your parents just want the best for you and are parenting accordingly. In the moment, you may not understand how their decision or advice is benefitting you, but as you get older, you’ll begin to see the wisdom in their parenting. For example, my mom always advised me to get together with friends in even numbers (2, 4, 6) rather than odd. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I have come to see the value in it. When you get together in groups of three or five, there is someone that is always left out slightly despite good intentions. Pieces of advice like this have helped me avoid a lot of awkward situations, heart break, and drama. Since I was open and willing to listen to this advice, I was able to reap the benefits of it. So, when you get into a disagreement with your parents, try to understand the situation from their point of view and realize that they’re only trying to do what’s best for you.
The next biggest thing is: your attitude. I know that’s probably the last thing you want to hear and I’m sure your parents have talked to you about it enough, but it is vital that we are aware of our attitude when we are in any relationship: friends, family, etc. The thing is, our attitude can completely change a situation; for the better or for the worst. For example: I have approached my parents disciplining and rules with an open mind and a generally positive attitude (I still struggle sometimes!), and it has made our relationship much more enjoyable. They see that I’m working with them, rather than against them, and are willing to give me more grace or privileges than if I had a bad attitude.
No relationship, no matter who its with, will ever be perfect. There will be misunderstandings, disagreements, and irritations. But the important thing is knowing that you have each other’s backs, and in this case, your parents have your back. Yes, you will have arguments with them, and yes, their rules may seem unreasonable at times. But ultimately, they’re just trying to do what’s best for you. With this understanding in mind, approach your relationship with your parents with love, respect, and a good attitude. You will find that instead of just “tolerating” your parents, you’ll be able to form a priceless relationship with them. Seek to honor the Lord in the relationship, exhibiting His characteristics, and continue to honor your mother and father.
Stand back and evaluate your relationship with your parents: Do you guys get along? How many times do you guys argue in a week? What attitude are you approaching the relationship with? Ask yourself where the relationship is, why it’s that way, where you want it to be, and how you’re going to get it there.
Come up with a list of things that you could start doing better in the relationship, whether that’s holding your tongue or listening. Identify these areas of improvement and then work on improving them. Also, sit down with your parents and talk about your relationship together. Communicate with one another to see how both of you guys can understand and work with each other more.
Dear Lord, I know you’ve commanded us to honor our parents, but sometimes, it’s just so hard!! I don’t want to fight with them or start an argument, but they just happen sometimes. I can’t improve this relationship within my own strength: I need your help Lord. Please work on my heart and help me to love, honor, and respect my parents, even when I don’t want to. Also work on their hearts and lead them as they are parenting and raising me. I entrust this relationship to You!
Raelene Harris is a spicy as they come- in her faith, her hobbies, and her style! A lover of the arts and aesthetics, she seeks to use her passions such as photography and music to glorify God and build relationships. As a 2017 intern, she is thrilled with the opportunities to expand His kingdom.