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House or Home - Parenting Edition - What's a Child to Do?, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
April 29, 2024 6:00 am

House or Home - Parenting Edition - What's a Child to Do?, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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April 29, 2024 6:00 am

As an adult, how do you honor your parents - especially if they have been less than honorable? Join Chip as he explores this difficult and controversial issue with candor and biblical guidance.

Main Points

God's first words to children. - Exodus 20:12

  1. What does it mean to "honor" your parents?
  2. Why did God give this command?
  3. What does it look like to honor our parents?
  4. Are there times when we can't honor our parents' wishes? Yes!
Broadcast Resource Additional Resource Mentions About Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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One of the most difficult areas for us as adults is how do we deal with our parents when we're adults?

The conflict, the dysfunction, sometimes abuse in our past, sometimes just what do you do to honor your parents when the relationship is so strained? If you want to know the answer to that, stay with me. That's today. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international teaching and discipleship ministry motivating Christians to live like Christians. And in just a minute, Chip will pick up where he left off in our series, House or Home, Parenting Edition. Last time, he emphasized what it means for kids to honor their father and mother. But today, Chip takes it a step further and considers how that biblical command plays out in adult children relating to their parents. For more on that, here's Chip with part two of his talk, What's a Child to Do, from Ephesians chapter six.

God's really clear. Children, honor your parents, teens and young adults by respecting and cooperating. Parents, be worthy of respect.

Live a life worthy of respect. I mean, the rules haven't changed because they're teenagers or young adults. More is caught than taught. And someone said earlier, we're late all the time. Guess what? I guess our kids are going to be late all the time. I'm sloppy with what I put in my mind.

Guess what? Your kids will be sloppy with putting in their mind. If you have debts that you haven't paid and you're not disciplined with your finances, guess what? Don't be shocked that freshman year when they get that credit card and they start spending it and you have these big bills because you co-signed or because of their relationship with you, you're liable.

Last year, are you ready for this? More college students went bankrupt than graduated from college. But when you're a freshman, they give you a t-shirt, a credit card, $5,000 credit.

Are you kidding me? Well, who taught them? Who taught them? And so I'd say to those young adults, you need to be very, very careful. This might be one if you have a young adult or a teenager and you say to yourself, you know, son or daughter, I know we may disagree on a number of things, but here's the deal. You need to respect me.

And just, I heard some teaching that might be helpful. And maybe you put the CD in the car and take a little drive and grab a cup of coffee. And when you get done, you say, so what do you think?

Or you watch the DVD and you jot a couple notes. And what I would say to your teenager or to your young adult is, are you respecting your parents in the area of your speech before God? If God's looking into your heart, how do you speak about your parents? Are you respecting in the area of your dress? That's always a big one, isn't it? And I don't mean how you dress in front of your parents.

I mean after you leave in your backpack and you change clothes in the bathroom at college or at high school. Are you respecting your parents with your attitude, with your body language? How about those gray areas like music, movies, friends, Facebook, tweets?

I mean, if your parents could see all that goes out, does it, you don't have to agree with them, but does it respect them? Guess what? You'll get your day. You'll get a day when you get to pay all your bills. You can be your own man, be your own woman, call your own shots. But right now, you're not doing that. And until you get your day, you respect and cooperate with your parents. And if not, you're disobedient to God.

Are you respecting them in your chores in your school and in your work? Now, part of the revolution that has occurred is most of your kids, even younger ones, are smarter than you in technology. And that's created this sense of, I don't need you. I mean, I don't need God, I don't need you, I got Google. And there's sort of this little arrogant superiority that comes, but what happens with technology is they now think they're smarter than you and when, what's knowledge do?

It puffs up. There's an arrogance. And here's what I'd say to your teenager and young adult. Jesus knew a lot more than his mom and dad. And he obeyed them.

And he respected them because he understood God had placed them over him for that season. So this honoring your father and mother is at the fabric and the core of the stability of family and life. And when you're a small child, the way you do it is you obey mom and dad. When you're a teen and a young adult, you respect and cooperate. And then when you get where a lot of us are and we're full blown adults, right? He's going to say it shifts.

Look on your notes. Third, as an adult, I honor my parents by affirmation and provision. Affirmation and provision. Proverbs 23, 24 says, the father of a righteous man has great joy.

He who has a wise son delights in him. The greatest way we affirm our parents is by our life and by our words. The greatest gift you can give your parents. You're 40 and they're 65 or you're 30 and they're 50 something or you're 55 or 60 and they're in their 80s. The greatest gift you'll ever give your parents as an adult is to be a godly, righteous man or woman.

It's your character. See when parents are young, we vicariously think that our kids' success is a direct reflection on us and we live vicariously and we want them to be in certain schools and win certain trophies and have upwardly mobile jobs and go to schools that we try and do it in a sophisticated way if you're a Christian to talk about what school they went to and how well they did and what their GPA was. And basically what we think is all that little mirror is a big reflection that's telling all of our friends really how wonderful we are mostly more than our kids. I mean why else would grown dads and moms scream like absolute idiots with nine year olds running around bases or kicking soccer balls?

Will it really matter who wins this game on Saturday afternoon at all? And yet we've got kids in tears and dads down kids' throats. Why? It's because when that little kid isn't kicking it the right way or hitting the ball or she didn't do this recital right, it's this reflection on me. I must not be a good parent. Lie.

Let me just fast forward for you. I can tell you with all honesty and their accomplishments are miniscule compared to their character. And when you meet people that are heartbroken, kids been in juvenile hall, kids been in prison, they've been through a marriage or two, an abortion or two, been through a lousy relationship, made some bad choices. I will tell you, there's parents that will tell you, I couldn't care if they ever went to college.

I couldn't care how much money they ever made. If I just had a sane kid that loved God, loved me, told the truth and I could trust them, I tell you what, you just think of the lowest job in the world, they could have that job and I'd be proud of them. So the problem is you don't want to learn that late. And so, you know, as a 40-year-old, as a 50-year-old, for some if your parents are really old, as a 60-year-old, the journey never ends.

You're still someone's kid. And your character, your godliness, how you raise your kids, your values, communicate your life. Notice Proverbs 3.27 says, do not withhold good from those who deserve it. Notice those who deserve it when it's in your power to act.

So we affirm them by the kind of people we become, but we also affirm them by our words and our actions. Communication means just, I can take you to nursing homes and you can walk through nursing homes and you can ask people, when's the last time someone visited you? When's the last time someone visited you? When's the last time someone visited you 10 years ago? Old people are thrown away like old shoes.

And we as believers, heaven forbid, do that. But when's the last time they got a phone call? When's the last time they got a personal note? When's the last time they said, hey, you know what, I was thinking about you, I kind of went to this conference and mom, I just want to let you know, I focused a lot on what you've done wrong because I have my baggage. And you know what, boy, you did a lot right.

And here I made a list. I love you. I thank you. Dad, thanks so much. I know you struggled drinking during that season of my life and I've had some pain, but you know, here, dad, thank you.

I mean, when's the last time you gave them a call? Just, and just, you know, sometimes I do understand there's hurts and there's pains, but to say, you know, every Sunday afternoon, we have a son that almost always, every Sunday afternoon, he calls us. Just, you know, how are you doing? Everything okay? You know, our daughter, I don't understand the mother-daughter thing.

I think they talk about every other day or sometimes more. But you know what it is? It's just, I don't care how old or how young, is when your kids don't communicate with you, you feel rejected. You just feel rejected. And we have the power, we have a responsibility to honor, to give respect, to have reverential awe. I mean, this sounds real trite, but without them, I got news, you wouldn't be here. So they may have been not the shining star examples that you would have loved, but without them, you wouldn't be here. So you're indebted.

And God says, whether they deserve it or not, respect them, honor them. Now we'll talk about there's times when you can't. But what we can do is communicate, be thoughtful. A daughter-in-law recently, there was a little, actually it was a pretty big musical event and our granddaughter was in it. And she didn't have to do this, but she called Teresa in advance, would you like to go with us? Do you want to sit with us? She just included her and happened to be a time I was traveling.

And you know, when you're traveling, you call, hey, how's everything going? And it was just, I could just hear her heart and her voice. It was, wow, Jenny was so thoughtful and it was so fun. And I sat back there and, you know, a little writer was next to me and, you know, what's it take to include them on some of those special events or set it up on their computer?

I mean, it's one little click and then let them see the faces if you have grandkids. But take some time to invest and give them, in some cases, give them what they don't deserve. That's, isn't that grace? Isn't that what God's done for us? So, affirmation.

You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. We'll get back to our series, House or Home, Parenting Edition in just a minute. But first, if this teaching has ministered to you, consider becoming a monthly partner. Your regular financial support goes a long way to help us encourage pastors, create resources, and share Jesus with today's youth. Visit to learn how to support us today.

Well, with that, here again is Chip. The second half of honoring our parents as we are grown and they're older, and notice what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 5, verses 4 and 8. He says, But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should learn, first of all, to put their religion into practice.

How? By caring for their own family. And so, circle the word, repaying. And so, repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. Now, Paul's writing to Timothy. Timothy's a young pastor. He's going, Hey, you know, this thing about holistically caring and loving people, man, we've got all these ladies and their widows and, you know, we don't have enough money to go around. Paul, what should we do? He said, Well, what?

Time out, time out. The widows that are widows indeed, there's no family around, there's no kids, there's no grandkids. Make sure you take care of their needs.

But if they've got kids, if they've got grandkids, you tell them true religion is take care of your mom, take care of your grandma. That's where you need to do it first. And notice that word repaying. There was a time that you can't remember, and I can't remember, that you were going eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh. And your face was all squirty and they cut the umbilical cord and you got dropped into someone's hands and you were helpless and hopeless unless your parents did something for you, you couldn't do for yourself.

Guess what? Everything goes around comes around. There's a day that you may be here and there's a day where your parents may get there. What they did for you, you now do for them. Take care of them. We commit financially to provide for the needs of our aging parents. That's biblical. Now, you got to figure out whether that's in the house, whether that's through money, whether that's through assisted living. There's multiple ways and I know multiple issues, but the end of the day, you need to know honoring my mother and father is I stand in the gap and I've got to figure a way to take care of them in their twilight years. He goes on to say in verse eight, if anyone doesn't provide for his relatives and especially for his immediate family, he's denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. So this isn't like a mild little command that he's on the side. This is important.

This is pretty radical. When you're an adult, you affirm by your life and your words and you provide for them. Now there's four times I think from scripture that you can't honor them the way that God wants you to, that he commands us to because of extenuating circumstances. And I'm not going to go into all the passages, but if it strikes a chord, they're very direct. You can read them and it will not take, you know, like an exegetical genius to figure out what it means.

You'll read it and you'll say, I get it. First time that you cannot honor your parents is the priority of salvation. Mark 10, 23 to 31. Jesus makes it very clear. There's going to be times where someone wants to come to faith and your parents are going to say, don't believe in Jesus. Do not believe in the gospel. I remember a young Jewish guy this happened to. His father says, you believe in Jesus as the Messiah. I'll have a funeral for you and I'll disinherit you. Well, should he honor his father's wishes?

No. He trusted in Christ. He was separated from his family. There's a price to pay. In the early church, there was a price to pay. And so there are times where on the priority of salvation, we say, I'd love to honor you, but I have to honor God in his word first.

Second is the priority of service. There's times where I could tell you a million stories of some young person, college age or a little after, feels very called of God to either go to the mission field or go and, nope, can't do that. Boy, that job will never pay. We didn't send you to that school to end up doing some ministry stuff and we're against it. When I married Theresa, we met with her father and mother and we told them, you know, God's really called us into ministry and we need to move to Dallas and we need to go to seminary.

It was, if you leave, we just want to tell you that we'll never see you again. We'll never visit the grandkids and we're totally against it. Well, God bless you, granddad and grandma. But I mean, if God calls one of your kids or God calls you and your parents say, now be sure you certainly want to respect their views. But we went to Dallas and we went to seminary. Now here's what's neat is a lot of people bluff.

Okay? Especially if there's grandkids, they really bluff. We'll never see you again.

We just are hiring a pastor from another part of the country to be our second communicator and be in charge of an area of the church. And you know, the first thing when they were processing it, they live far away from California. And one of the grandmothers said, well, if you do that, I will never see my grandchildren again. I will not fly. I will not come.

I will not. I mean, it was basically kind of leveraging so that you wouldn't do it. And they didn't do it tritely. I mean, they really prayed and worked through all the issues.

Now what I'm going to tell you is grandma's going to loosen up almost all the time. But you can't let, if God calls you to do something, you can't let your parents view, hinder you from obeying God. Third is the priority of marriage. There are times where you try to leave, right?

The biblical model, leave, cleave, become one flesh. You try and leave, and you have parents that meddle with your life. And sometimes they do it with money, and sometimes they do it with phone calls, and sometimes they just keep jacking around with your life. And when it gets between your parents and your mate, your mate always wins. It's the priority of marriage. Teresa's dad was, she didn't have the most pleasant of all childhoods. So that sort of carried on early in our marriage, and I didn't know how to handle it.

And he would come and criticize and criticize and criticize and criticize and criticize, and she'd be depressed for two or three weeks every time after her parents left. And I didn't know what to do with it, and on my end, my parents, you know, we had pretty dysfunctional families actually, as I shared earlier. So my, I think mostly my father, but he couldn't let go, and so he would call our house person to person. Remember the old days when you make a phone call person to person? So Teresa answers the phone.

Here's my dad or my mom, someone on the other end, and an operator going, will you receive a person to person call for Chip Ingram? Translation, we don't want to talk to you. I mean, how rejecting could you be? So, you know, we've got this, and I like to tell this story like I'm really the strong, brave hero who steps in and protects my wife. I was really slow, and I felt between the rock and the hard place. And, you know, you know, first of all, I was a little afraid of her dad, and I didn't want to disappoint my dad. And I mean, it just, we had yucky, I mean, this was like not working. And I just realized, you know something?

If you have to, if honoring parents, obeying God, you obey God and honor your wife. And so I had a phone call with my dad. I said, Dad, let me tell you something. You call like that anymore, you're not welcome in my house.

It's a package, okay? We became one. Me, Teresa, and the kids. You can love us all or none. But you can't, this isn't a salad bar. You can't just pick one person to love out of the family.

So, you're welcome, would love to have a relationship with you. Don't ever do that. Don't call that way ever again.

With her dad, he came to visit, and after one day, he started on the routine. You know, that faucet's leaky. You know, these knives aren't sharp enough. You know, ah, yah, yah, yah, yah. And so I said, Fred, come on, let's go to Safeway.

You know, I got to pick up milk and bread. And so we do, and we get back, and I'm working up the courage the whole time. Okay, work up the courage, work up the courage. Finally, I work up the courage, and he starts, I said, Fred, don't get out of the car yet.

Yeah. Fred, let me tell you something, okay? Your daughter, I know you don't mean it because you're oblivious to it, but you're very, very critical of your daughter. And you have been her whole life. That really has affected her. And Fred, when you do this, it actually affects me, because she gets really discouraged and depressed because she doesn't think she measures up, because you keep telling her that. Help me, Lord, help me, Lord. Fred, we're going to go in that house, and if you say one critical word to my wife, you will be on a plane in two hours, and you will not be welcome to come back until you can come back with positive, encouraging words for her.

Now, fake it. Do you understand? Act tough. And he looked at me like someone hit him in the face with a sledge hammer, and he walked in that house, and he was not critical to my wife anymore. But, you know, some of us, it's just, some of that's with a mother-in-law. Some of it's, you know, when you're people, people are trying, and, you know, maybe it's a sister, maybe it's a brother, but the priority of marriage, no one gets between you and your maid, and you do not honor your parents if they behave in those kind of ways.

The last and final way is just the priority of wisdom. Some of you come from backgrounds where there's been an abusive relationship, either sexually or physically. There's been alcohol, drugs, violent anger, outbursts. You've had situations where you went out for a little while, and you come back, and your children were endangered, and you just realize, oh, my lands, they weren't even, it's three years old, they weren't watching them, and there's a pool in the back, or, you know, they're sort of half-sauced.

They play games, they manipulate. There are certain times where wisdom says, and you've addressed it, and every time you try and address it, there's fire, and there's arguments, and it's just, it's chaos, and you've tried and tried and tried. There's times where you set a boundary around your family, and because of the dysfunction of other people, you say, we love you, we honor the office, but until these behaviors change, we won't be here for Thanksgiving, the grandkids won't be here at Christmas, and you're not welcome in our home. This kind of behavior, you know what, you can't come with, you know, your vodka in your orange juice deal, and get sauced at my house, you can't come and fall asleep in bed smoking, you're not gonna do stuff that endanger me or my family and dishonor God, and I will tell you, that is so hard to do, and most Christians feel so guilty, as though, notice what it says in Proverbs 9, it says, he who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, and he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. I mean, when before your heart, you've tried everything you can do to make things right, and the response is insults, and the response is more dysfunction, don't reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you, reprove a wise man, and he'll love you, give instruction to a wise man, and he'll be still wiser, teach a righteous man, and he'll increase his learning. And this is, by the way, I would talk to your pastor, in some cases I talk with a really good counselor, there are certain things and certain people and certain buttons that keep messing with your life, your family, your marriage, and your children, and at some point you pray it through, enough is enough, and you set some boundaries, and there's an opportunity, when these behaviors change, we'll re-engage, until then, we're not going to. Very tough.

Very important. Honoring your parents does not mean you obey them as adults, honoring your parents does not mean there's warm, fuzzy feelings, and you do what they want, honoring your parents as an adult mean you affirm their good, forgive their bad, and have as much relationship as possible that doesn't violate the priority of service, your marriage, wisdom, or salvation. You say to them, regardless of what you've done, I'm committed to provide for you financially, and I want to be a reflection of Christ, but it has to be inside certain boundaries that honor God as well as you. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and the message you just heard, What's a Child to Do, is from our series, House or Home, Parenting Edition. Chip will join us in studio to share some insights from today's talk in just a minute. Join Chip in this ten-part series as he provides practical and biblical wisdom for moms and dads at every stage of parenthood. He'll dive into Ephesians chapter 6 and share his personal experiences as a father to help you guide your children to become God-honoring adults.

Whether you are a new parent or grandparent, this series has valuable insights for you. If you've missed any messages, visit to catch up. Before we go any further, Chip's in studio now to share a quick word with all of you.

Thanks so much, Dave. Just before I come back and talk about some application for you in today's program, I just want to pause and thank those of you who are our monthly partners. There's a significant group of people that each and every month, all various sizes, give monthly to Living on the Edge, and it is such a joy to know that there's stability and income that we know that's coming in that allows us to plan in really significant ways.

And if you're one of those, I just want to say praise God and thank you very much. It's an indication of your heart. It means that you're aligning with our mission, and I pray that God richly blesses you. Thanks, Chip. Well, if you're already a financial partner, thank you. With your help, Living on the Edge is ministering to more people than ever.

But if you're benefitting from Chip's teaching and haven't taken that step yet, now would be a great time to join the team. To send a gift or to become a monthly partner, go to or call 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or visit App listeners, tap donate, and thanks for giving whatever the Lord leads you to give.

We'll hear again this Chip. As we close today's program, I want to talk to a specific group. I want to talk to that group of people that it's just been hard. It's maybe personality differences or maybe your mom or your dad or your stepdad or stepmom said something to your maid or one of your kids and you're not even sure. You're not even sure where the whole thing fell apart, but you don't talk to them anymore. What you felt when you heard me speaking was guilt. Where your mind went was stuff like, well, you know, in light of she did that, she did that, and you know, they're the parents and they should have cared for me.

And here's what I want you to get. You're right. They're the parents. They should have cared.

They should have taken initiative. On and on and on and on. But you're a Christian. We don't give people what they deserve. We pass on what they don't deserve, mercy and forgiveness, the way God has passed it on to us.

Because at the end of the day, the relationship is going to be more important than who's right, who's wrong. And I will just tell you, is it hard? No, no, it's impossible. You will be glad when you have that moment when you go to one of your parents' funerals that you said, God, they don't deserve it. I don't want to do it, but I'm going to love them the way you loved me. Take the step. Take the initiative.

Remove your expectations of ooey gooey great reconciliation and just obey and love the way Jesus loves you, and you'll never regret it. Thanks for that word, Chip. As we close, our mission at Living on the Edge is to help Christians live like Christians. And one of the best ways we can continue to do that is through programs like this. So when you hear a message that helps you, pass it on. You can easily do that through the Chip Ingram app or by forwarding them the free MP3s that you'll find at And don't forget to include a note about how it made a difference in your life. Well, until next time, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-29 04:08:22 / 2024-04-29 04:20:17 / 12

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