Family unity is becoming more and more difficult. It is the target of many threats. Some children and their parents live more like cats and dogs. Why is this so?
When a child is born, that brings great joy to the family. Many parents make enormous sacrifices to bring up their children.
A great many of these children become a blessing to their parents when the latter are in old age. This is so nice; the dream of every parent; and every good child. That is the beauty of family.
But not all are blessed with this joy, unfortunately. When some children attain a certain age, life changes in the family for the worse. They start to consider themselves superior to their parents. Some actually not only look down on their parents but also talk down on them.
What an embarrassment! They are no longer ready to listen to the “old people”. They want to do things their own way. And, in a lot of cases, a big crack develops between them and their parents.
This is rather sad. The word of God clearly defines what the relationship between parents and children should be. The fourth commandment clearly commands: “Respect your father and your mother, so that you may live long on the land that I am giving you.” (Exodus20:12)
In Ephesians 6:1, we are told, “Children, obey your parents in the lord, for that is right.”
This commandment calls for respect and obedience from children and condemns disrespect, unkindness and disobedience to ones parents.
Colossians, goes in the same direction to say, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”
Prov. 1:8-9: “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.”
There is punishment for recalcitrant children.
“If one curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.” (Prov 20:20)
On their part, parents should understand their children and help them to remain good children.
They are admonished: “And you fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but rear them in the discipline and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
It is the duty of parents to”Train up the child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6)
As far as the command of the Lord is concerned, they must “teach them diligently to your children.”
It is understood that there are bound to be differences between children and their parents.
We do acknowledge the generation gap. They belong to different generations. Millennials and Gen Zers will normally think and act in many ways differently from their baby boomers or Gen X parents, but family values are timeless and must never be compromised. The family is forever called to thrive on love, mutual care and harmony. We cannot allow the family to break down. If families break down, society breaks down.
The blame does not go to the children or parents alone when the family breaks apart. It is the responsibility of all family members to protect the family and ensure that love, unity and harmony prevail.
Parents and children are thus challenged to overcome their differences and keep family bonds alive and active.