Parents should be in control, but they should not be tyrants

In my last post I urged children/teenagers to obey their parents virtually all of the time because it is good for them to learn obedience (Colossians 3:20). It is better for children to obey “dumb” parents than to disobey them. Having said that, however, it is very important for us as parents to do our best to parent well. We should not act as dictators, but rather we should try to make it easy for our children to obey us:

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged (Colossians 3:21 NIV).

Children need to be taught discipline, and this will sometimes mean making them obey rules that they don’t like. However, we as parents still need to make sure that we do not “embitter” our children. We need to make rules that make sense. We should not invent harsh rules simply for the purpose of tyranizing over them, but rather we should make sure that each of our rules has a good reason behind it, and we should make sure our children know what that reason is. It is important for us to build trust with our children. If we are constantly changing the rules on them, or are making rules that are not fair, they will become “discouraged.” Children need to know what is required of them, and they need to know they are loved. We need to parent our children in such a way that they know we love them, and that they know how to make us happy.

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