A friend of ours called yesterday to "vent" regarding her Mother's Day experience. It seems that this woman's only child (a 40 year old son), invited himself and his girlfriend over for Mother's Day. Once there, he called a local pizza place and ordered $65 of food and made his mom pay for it. What followed was not pleasant as the son and girlfriend went out of their way to let his mother know exactly how little she meant to him.
One of the women my wife works with has managed to steal every penny her mom had to her name while she was in the hospital recovering from a serious illness. By the time she was to return home, she found out she was penniless and her house was being foreclosed upon. The child (who is 30 years old) adamantly proclaims she did nothing wrong.
My wife talked to one of her sisters on Mother's Day and was told that her husband was making a nice dinner for the family on the grill but neither of the two children (teenagers) were helpingÂ€Â”not even setting the table for the meal. Of course these are the same kids who have managed to NEVER thank us for any birthday or Christmas present sent to them over the years.
What is wrong with children of all ages these days? Why is it that there is not only no respect for parents, but downright disrespect? What have the parents done to warrant such responses from their children? In all three of these cases the parents did NOTHING to ever harm or hurt their children in any way, yet the children feel they have a right to steal from them and treat them like dirt?
My mother-in-law flew out yesterday after spending 3 weeks visiting us. For many men this would have been paramount to spending three weeks in purgatory. But, since I truly have a fondness for and deeply respect my mother-in-law, the past three weeks was a wonderful time of fellowship and gave me the chance to constantly bless the mother of my beloved wife.
It is totally beyond my ability to comprehend why so many children hold their parents in such low esteem or in disregard. I know many children grow up in abusive situations and/or with only one parent. I know the numbers of broken homes are staggering, but most of the situations I am aware are not like this.
Even in my super rebellious days in the late 1960's and early 1970's I NEVER disrespected my mom and dad. I may not have totally obeyed them and I was definitely not totally honest with them, but I never deliberately did things to make them mad or hurt them. What I see today is a generation of children (of all ages) who feel parents are a burden, time waster and a responsibility they do not want.
I see adult children throw mom and dad into nursing homes and then never visit them because they are too busy. I see children get mad at their parents and carry grudges that only grow worse and worse over the years. I see in-laws quarrel and feud so much they make everyone uncomfortable. Whatever happened to talking things out, compromise and agreeing to disagree if nothing else?
Stories such as I have heard recently break my heart for I know how much it has broken the hearts of those who did their best to raise "good kids". I know every parent's fear is that their child ends up a failure in life, a criminal or worse. I know parents do not have any authority over their children after they grow up and leave home.
But, I also know the Bible makes it perfectly clear that children are to obey, respect and hold in high regard their parents and that parents are to love, teach and take care of their children. If these things were done, even just a little bit; I have to believe that adult children would not demand their mother pay for Mother's Day dinner or feel it is perfectly allowable to steal their parent's blind. In fact, I believe kids might just set the table or do the dishes once in awhile. OK, let's not take things that far. Kids will be kids, even when they are 88.
Don't we sometimes treat our heavenly parent the same way at times. Don't we take and take from him and never say thankyou? Don't we too put things on his "tab" as if he owes us?
I think its an awful sad state of affairs when we as children disrespect our parents, no matter how we were treated as kids by that parent.
But as you say, kids will be kids, and that includes us with our Abba too.
Though as one last thought. Some of us as parents have cultivated the attitude our kids have. We have allowed them to set their own boundaries and their own rules. we have neglected to parent them correctly and we are reaping the reward. And yet, as you say, some parents have broken hearts, for after raising their child correctly that child is ungrateful, disrespectful and downright rude. Thats the natural man for you, is it not though?
How thankful I am that my Heavenly father is not slow to parent me. And how thankful I am for blogs like this which remind me to say thankyou to my earthly mother, and to my Heavenly Father.
I see this all too much. Especially being my age. I am 21 years old and I see many friends and children younger than me that are so disrespectful. Children want structure and disipline in their lives. I know that they hate to be punished but its a functionalitly of a parent/child relationship. The fact is, God has taken a back seat in these peoples lives. The less God is present in the family life, the more that life is going to suffer. They are only using God when its convienent. It takes work to bring up a child in Gods likeness. Many parents now have become lazy with this and have let the children become the head of the household. I can't imagine ever treating my parents the way that I see some teens and young adults treat their parents.
It's not all on the children though. They were taught that this was okay. I remember many times being talked to about helping out and doing the right thing because it was what God wants us to do. The closer you are with God the better a family life becomes. He is always going to strengthen those relationships.
Picture the relationship you have with God. We treat him with a respect and love and we know that working on a relationship with him. We model our relationship with our parents the way we have a relationship with our God. The more people push God away and allow him to dissapear into the background the more relationships are going to struggle.
The sad truth is that todays society is not ruled by God anymore. It is TV, music, magazines, video games, (all of which have become babysitters for parents insead of actually being a parent and spending time with their kids, teaching them about the Lord and how to spend quality family time.
The Lord is our parent, and just so, we are children. Those who understand how important it is for God to be present and that the way God parents us, is the way parents should be with their own children. In return the children should understand that the way they would treat our Lord, is what they should be modeling in the relationship with their parents. We are blessed to have a God that loves us and wants us to follow in his likeness. Continue to model being a child of God and what that means when you are a child to a parent.
Society in many ways teaches the young to be disrespectful. They are told repeatedly that they, the child has certain rights and the parent can not tell them what to do. This disrespect of the younger generation goes towards everyone, teachers, police officers and strangers on the street.
But not all young people. I have also known many who are very respectful. Respect like love should be unconditional. No one should need to earn respect.
Great blog B2Y.
As a teacher, you might say I really see both sides of the coin. I see what you say and I also see the scenario Bethy has mentioned time and time again as well. As a parent something that I tried to do from the very beginning is actively seek God's help in teaching ME how to be a good parent. That's not to say I didn't always listen but I did recognize that I needed to seek God's guidance in this like in everything else.
I too have seen parents who have done their very best to try to raise their children but still... it is a sober reminder that we can only do our best to bring up our children in the way of the Lord but in the end... they must make their own choice.
[quote]the Bible makes it perfectly clear that children are to obey, respect and hold in high regard their parents and that parents are to love, teach and take care of their children. [/quote]
All I can say to that is amen, B2Y,