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Now that our son is past eighteen, should he still obey us?The Bible says that children should "obey" and "submit to" their parents (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians ), but he says that because he's an adult, this commandment no longer applies to him. At what point does an adult child become fully independent of his parents' control?Sometimes a “ceremony” or “rite of passage” of some kind (on the analogy of the Jewish Bar- or Bat-Mitzvah) can be helpful in redefining roles and establishing new parameters.If your child is still living at home, it’s particularly important to spell things out as clearly as possible.If you’re finding this transitional phase in the parent-child relationship a bit rocky or bumpy, you may need to step back and reassess your approach.It might be a good idea to sit down with your child and talk openly about your mutual expectations.Naturally, we’d be in a much better position to comment if we had some more detailed information about your family.We’d like to know, for instance, how far “past 18” your daughter is and whether she’s living at home or on her own.

That’s not to mention that there is no time- or age-limit attached to the biblical command to one’s parents; as Paul writes (quoting Exodus ), “‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with a promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth'” (Ephesians 6:2).He will have to choose to act on the basis of the wisdom you’ve attempted to instill in him over the years and out of an awareness of his personal responsibility toward his Creator.If he attends church, it should be because because he’s adhering to a curfew.Whether or not he takes immediate advantage of the opportunity, he has the right to leave home and make his own way in the world.Very soon, if not already, his personal decisions will have to be something more than a matter of simple “submission” to Mom’s and Dad’s injunctions.

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