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Freedom and Respect

Sarah Keck, 18

All teenagers have one thing in common: parents. At some point, we argue with our parents about freedom and independence — or the lack of it. We yearn for the freedom to be responsible for our own lives. In contrast, our parents seem to cling to us, sometimes to the point of suffocation. How do we deal with our need to break away, while continuing to honor our parents as God commands? Here are some tips that work for me:

> Talk to your parents. They have been doing life for a while; they might know something about this whole growing-up business.

> Learn how to make good decisions. One of the ways you can demonstrate your maturity is to acknowledge your choices as your own and to stand by those decisions with confidence.

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you.
Deuteronomy 5:16a (NRSV)

> Respect your parents’ authority. Acknowledge that they were appointed by God and given the privilege and the responsibility to care for and to raise you. Accepting their authority is not always easy, but it’s worth it. In return for honoring their decisions, you earn their respect and may gain more freedom.

 

NEED A ROLE MODEL? Even Jesus, as a teenager, broke away from his parents to become his own person and to follow his own calling. Read his story in Luke 2:41–52.

—from devozine (July/August 2007). Copyright © 2007 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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