Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Honoring + obedience--they work together

There is a sanctuary in writing. Right now I am very excited about a Christian writers website that is in the works; for those of you who'd rather read my "Spiritual" take on life, you can go there--Lord willing some of my articles will be published. For now. . .everyone who voted "random ramblings" in the sidebar poll with have to deal with my deeper thoughts. ;)

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Obedience. Honor. Submission. All these words have something in common, a connecting thread. We are taught from childhood to obey, honor, and yes, submit to our parents. But why do we do it? At times as a young adult I find myself struggling to simply obey--the little four letter word that often means turning against my now "adult" mind. It's not that I don't honor my parents. I live under my fathers roof, I pledge my heart to him. . .but wait. One can't honor without obedience. My dad is my God-given lord. He isn't called to overbear or rule with an iron fist. Through experience I know he requires basics that are followed by everyone in the household. Not very difficult; I follow the rules. . .Biblically the Lord commands me to yield. But there is so much more to the bigger picture--I don't obey because my father has forced me into submission, I don't even obey because I need too; I obey because I honor him.

In our modern culture, and even in Christian circles, young people, particularly young ladies, are thought "overly sheltered" if there are certain guidelines followed within the home. "What? You aren't allowed to date? You don't watch rated R movies? Not even most PG13 ones? Ok sure, you're dad taught you that way, but listen, it's time to come out of the box. . .you're nearly 21! Talk about a control freak father." Wrong.

Pinned ImageHere's why:

1. My dad loves me with all his heart. I don't believe that simply because he says so. . .it's obvious in his treatment, his protection and care for my well-fare. Dad's been around the block a few times more--he's viewpoint isn't control, it's experience.

2. Notice the word "viewpoint" in the above sentence? My father doesn't force convictions on me. Keyword, conviction. There actually is a difference between "tradition" and "conviction," just sayin'. . .different topic. There is nothing more special to me than my dad's advice. Recently I went to him with something that was bothering me. His answer? "I would't do it, but I can't make that decision for you." He wouldn't do it. I see his testimony, I watch his lifestyle--it means the world to me. Why wouldn't I take his advice? There was no command, no force, but I chose to heed his council.

3. This "way of life" has become my own. As a child I did everything in the footsteps of my parents. Hey, they wanted me to, and I'd probably get spanked otherwise (which happened often, we are talking to a strong willed gal here!) Now, as I've matured in my walk, made it personal, swam through oceans of trials, I've seen that their way is HIS way. It actually, really works! Thankfully I never went through a serious "wandering" time. . .the Lord showed me these things gradually yet instantly as I grew. There is no room to doubt. When outsiders look in they see a 21 year old girl still living at home, LISTENING TO HER FATHER, heaven forbid, and doing weird, "old fashioned" things. Hate to break it to you, but this isn't the result of control. . .I want to live as I live. And gasp, I honor my upbringing.

Pinned ImageWith all this in mind, I do struggle. There are times when my will cries, "but dad, mom, I'm turning 21 in less then a month! A month, did you hear that?" Then God slams me in the face with the reality of His Word. It's rather chilling how He hand picks verses just when I need them. When I'm doubting. . .when "everyone else" assures me I'm wrong--that my parents are wrong. If you ask me these folks need to examine their hearts. Take the plank out of you're own eye!

Conviction and what it entails--the persecution is often evokes, seems to be a common topic here lately. Well. . .my heart has been so full because of recent trials, and when there are trials, what a better place to vent then one's blog? And in the process I want to encourage my readers. . I hope it's working! Guess what--no matter who you're father is, no matter how old you are, who you are--dad is always right. I love my dad with every ounce of my being, and I'm GOING to honor him! Remember, honor and obedience go hand in hand. It's worthless to honor without it's partner; "honor" and only "honor" is taking the cowards road, the--"well, I'm asked to do it. . .and I live here, so I do it"--road of self pity. Finding that contentment in Christ, and better yet, realizing that this obedience stuff actually has a point--will make that winding Walk straighter. Follow HIM!


  1. This was beautiful, Michaela. Thank you. :) I think I really needed this little reminder, as I hadn't really cared why I had followed my father, and simply followed him. Not that that is wrong in any way, but it feels better to know you have a strong, steadfast answer to the question "Why?". :)


  2. Wonderful post Micheala.
    Respect and honor to our parents is discouraged in our world today. A teen or young adult taking a parents advice its like,"Whoa girl are you insane,your parents are old school you probably know better,things are didfferent from when they were young."

    I'm sure you encourages someone with this well written inspiring post,keep on blogging Michaela.

  3. I'll be turning 27 next month and I often have to make a conscience decision to honor my father. I don't so much obey in that my father doesn't say much about my life because I have learned much and he approves of how I live. But in future plans and life struggles I know my dad wants to be involved and I honor him by involving him in my decision making, he doesn't force me. Sometimes it's hard (probably because we are so much alike!), but I want to honor him and I will continue to do so. Parents change too and I watched my parents "grow" and what I now do they would not have approved of in the past, but now they don't care so much (though we do sometimes disagree). Honoring them even as they change is hard to do, but it is a must.

  4. It's so good to know other "older" Christian girls who are at home striving to honor their parents. I empathise and am encouraged by your post!


  5. Wow, Michaela, it felt like you had written this post just for me. Recently, I have recommitted myself to obeying by father because I want to honor him; not just accepting his "rules," but *embracing* his guidance! It's really eye-opening once you get to that place, is it not? Suddenly everything that seemed a burden is turned into a blessing, and I can't help but praise the Lord for turning my heart around. Like you, I don't think I ever had a specific "stage of rebellion," but that doesn't mean I didn't have some *ahem* growing to do. :P

    Elizabeth Rose

  6. Tuched me much. Come on over and see my blog. I will follow you as I follow your mothers blog.

  7. I believe honoring parents is immensely important for all Christians, child or adult, married or unmarried. Why? Because God has given parents a positional place of honor in the lives of children, regardless of how good a job they do. (Or, to look at it simply, because God has told us to do so).

    I do take issue with a few things in this post though.

    "One can't honor without obedience." This holds true for children because a child-parent relationship is by nature one of authority and submission. To go against that authority is to dishonor the position of the parent.

    However, it does not hold true for an adult. If parents trust God as they should, as their children grow up, their relationships with their children change from child-parent to adult-adult relationships (which is not one of authority and submission).

    Just from a logical perspective, BTW, honor cannot imply obedience unless married children no longer honor their parents. (Or are still required to obey them which is an utterly anti-Biblical idea).

    It's true that it's important for any adult unmarried son or daughter to put great weight on parents' counsel. However, it is still the responsibility of an adult Christian to make wise choices (even if those choices don't line up with parents' advice, which is relatively rare).

    For example, you say that you don't watch R-rated movies (a very reasonable standard, BTW). Judging from the way you presented it, this isn't so much a law laid down by your parents as a standard that they adopted when you were younger, still advise you to follow, and which you agree with.

    I would go so far as to say that if your parents could not trust you, at age 21, to make good decisions (perhaps with their counsel) about what entertainment was acceptable to watch, they would have done a very poor parenting job indeed!

    Overall, for families where parents are very careful not to become selfish or driven by fear, and who also allow their adult sons/daughters to make their own decisions in most areas, having an official position of obedience usually works fairly well.

    Still, it's important to realize that there is no biblical support for the idea that adult sons/daughters are under the absolute authority of parents until marriage.

    An adult may be bound as long as they live at his parents' home by whatever restrictions the parents impose (though hopefully parents will still allow adult sons/daughters to make decisions that deviate from the advice of the parents). An adult would also be making a grave mistake indeed to make important life decisions without weighing the advice of parents very heavily (proportional also to the strength of the parents' opinion).

    However, it is a dangerous thing for an adult to be dependent on parents' approval to the point that they are incapable of making decisions that are counter to parents' advice.

    In happy circumstances, these conflicts are rare and minor, in situations where the philosophy of the parents deviate significantly from the philosophy of the adult son/daughter in a particular area, or where parents allow selfish motives or fear for their son/daughter to cloud their advice, it becomes crucially important that the adult son/daughter be willing to make decisions that deviate from that advice.

    The bottom line is that if parents had absolute authority over their sons/daughters, they would also bear total responsibility. It also means that those sons/daughters bear no more responsibility for their decisions than the 8-year-old whose decisions are made by his parents.

    This philosophy becomes dangerous because (1) it genuinely can hinder a son/daughter's development into a mature adult, (2) it can hugely damage the relationship between parent and adult son/daughter, and (3) it puts an enormous burden of responsibility on parents that they were never meant to bear.

  8. No David, I agree 100%! You have no idea what a relief this is to me--I haven't been able to put my thoughts into the right words.

    When I speak of "obedience" I mean the restrictions that bind me while living at home, as you said. My dad has made it very clear that he *can't* force me to heed his advice/follow his restrictions. However since I respect his example (the same lifestyle and principles he taught me as a child,) I would be foolish not to heed (in most cases.) He has more experience and wisdom.

    Anyway, thank you for putting this into such logical terms. I feel cleared of some confusion I've been having--this is the point I've wanted to make all along, but have been unable to express. THANKS!


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