Children, obey your parents

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(This post is part of a series. For an introduction to the topic read, “How ought we read the Bible?” To see all posts in this topic, go to “Does the Bible really say that?”)

"Children, obey your parents" It's a biblical principle. It's a command. And it is given with a reason. Ephesians 6:1 says to do so because it is the right thing to do. Colossians 3:20 says to do so because it pleases God. These are both excellent reasons. The misunderstanding I've seen with this verse is the group to whom it is addressed. A number of times I've heard people say that they can't hold a different opinion than their parent or that they can't oppose their parents' wishes. The only trouble is, the people who said this were not children. Simply having parents does not make one a child. A child is a young person. If you are not a minor, then you are not a child. (Then again, age doesn't always equal maturity, but that's another issue.) If you are a child, then you ought to obey your parents. If you are not a child, then you ought to be a responsible adult. Either way, you ought to honor your parents - even if you disagree with them. As always, verses make sense in context. In each of these passages, a number of family dynamics are addressed and it is helpful to read them. Just make sure you are paying attention to whom it is being addressed before you decide how to apply it.