Crosswalk Column: “Mom, Dad, and God”
The words I’m about to write are risky, so please read them carefully and weigh all of them in light of Scripture. But I’m writing them, because I believe they need to be said.
Sometimes young people need to step up and make a decision for God, despite the advice of their parents. Ohh, I can hear groans from parents and youth pastors on that one. Let me explain.
Most of the time, I counsel young people to really heed and hear the advice of their parents, because God has sovereignly placed them in their lives for a reason. The reason is that parents have more wisdom and experience than their children. Plus, let’s be honest, young people don’t always make good choices.
But, I have seen situations where Christian young people are more passionate for God than their parents. And they want to do something bold, but their parents are stuck in sort of safe, mediocre Christianity mode. Sometimes their parents aren’t even believers.
I would hate to see the fear of upsetting Mom and Dad get in the way of an opportunity to live out God’s call. Ultimately, if you’re a young person, it is you who will stand before the Lord and account for what you did in your life.
The decisions you make will be all yours. You won’t be able to blame your parents.
Throughout my life and ministry, I’ve seen young people with a burning passion for God, whose light was extinguished by older influences such as parents or grandparents, who were so stuck on the hardship and reality of ministry or were disappointed their kids chose ministry over a promising and lucrative career.
How sad. If we have one life to live, shouldn’t it be lived for God? And is there any way to waste your life if you are following God’s call? No.
Now, a few important disclaimers, before I get email from angry moms and dads.
First, always, always, always honor your parents, even in disagreement. Make sure you’re decision isn’t rooted in rebellion and pride. Because if it is, God won’t honor that. Don’t camouflage your disobedience with Jesus talk.
Second, heed fully you’re parents concerns and try to address them biblically. So you want to be a missionary to Mongolia? Great, how will you pay for it? Where will you get trained? Just because you’re parents raise concerns doesn’t always mean they are discouraging you, probably just trying to help you plan.
Third, get good counsel from a variety of godly men and women. Besides talking to your parents, seek the advice of a youth pastor, a pastor, older men and women whose faith with God burns brightly. And if the consensus is that God is calling you to something big and the Holy Spirit is confirming it, then go for it.
I hesitated to write this column, but I know the Lord need it to be written. Sometimes standing up for Jesus means standing up against those we love the most. So if this is you, pray for boldness and love and then gracefully do what God is calling you to do.