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#6122 - Mon Sep 29, 2003 10:18 AM Children Obey Your Parents...  
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Greetings all,<br><br>I am wrestling with some of the practical consequences of divorce and would be interested to hear some feedback regarding the parent-child relationship after a divorce. Particularly, is there a point at which the child no longer needs to "obey" a mother or father in those areas over which a parent ordinarily has jurisdiction (i.e., not over-stepping their bounds as parents). I believe the need to honor a parent is always necessary, but clearly the command to obey them ceases once a child is no longer under their authority. This happens anytime a child leaves home or gets married. But what in the case of divorce? How should the church discern the "legal guardian"? Should it be the "non-guilty" party of the divorce or should it be whomever the civil magistrate recognizes as the legal guardian? (For these two are often not the same). I would be interested in your thoughts here. I hope the question makes sense.<br><br>Sincerely in Christ,<br><br>~Jason<br>

#6123 - Tue Sep 30, 2003 2:01 PM Re: Children Obey Your Parents... [Re: Jason1646]  
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Jason,<br><br>Let me add another wrinkle to this divorce situation and the civil magistrate. The official statistics show that in 94% of divorces where the custody of children is involved, they are awarded to the mother or maternal grandparents. Thus if a child is exempted from obeying his/her father due to a divorce, that would create a serious situation for the child. Why? Because the statistics also show that over 64% of children that are raised by single mothers get into some form of "trouble". God's Word seems to teach that a man as the head of the household is the "ideal" and desired situation. Where there is no man, problems do arise despite the best efforts of the mother. This is clearly NOT an attempt to cast stones at godly women who are doing their best to raise their children according to the Scriptures. However, the vast majority of single mothers are not Christians. Thus the statistics reflect how children are raised by ungodly women.<br><br>In His Grace,


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#6124 - Tue Sep 30, 2003 11:03 PM Re: Children Obey Your Parents... [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Pilgrim<br><br>I totally agree with what you said here.<br>In fact I know a woman through no fault of her own, had to leave her husband because of alcohol and physical abuse.<br>She is trying to raise her children by herself and all but the youngest refuse to have anything to do with the Lord (she has three children).<br>It is all she can do just to get some sort of calm in her house hold. She says she has very little control of her oldest two children. In fact the oldest one comes home stoned almost every night.<br>

#6125 - Wed Oct 01, 2003 6:31 AM Re: Children Obey Your Parents... [Re: Pilgrim]  

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Well as a single mother of 6 children, I could not agree more with Pilgrim. Now God has been pleased to bless my efforts as a mother, but I do believe that one of the reasons has been because I have insisted from their birth that they honor and respect him no matter what. They may not always agree with him, and in fact there has always been an age that they have realized for themselves his weaknesses, but I am sure the recognized mine much sooner!<br><br>In the mandate for children to obey their parents, there is no qualifier. Children are to obey their parents, period. However, I do know from experience that my ex has become very liberal and tried to only be my children's buddy, and that has been an issue. Trying to raise them in a bodly way without dishonoring their father. I will say though, God has accomplished it. My children now themselves(the youngest is 17) have the discernment to know what he should or should not be doing ( he just became a bartender and suggested my 17 year old georgous daughter forget nursing school and do the same!). Do what is right in God's eyes and leave the results to Him.<br><br>Trust me, He is able to keep them from falling, as well as He is us!<br><br>Linda

#6126 - Wed Oct 01, 2003 6:52 AM Re: Children Obey Your Parents...  

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My dad continued to obey his mum when she was 90 and he 70 !<br><br>howard

#6127 - Wed Oct 01, 2003 2:58 PM Re: Children Obey Your Parents...  
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<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]In the mandate for children to obey their parents, there is no qualifier. Children are to obey their parents, period.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Well, that is not entirely true. Children do not have to obey their parents if their parents command them to sin. But besides that point, there is a point in time when children are not obligated to obey their parents. When a daughter gets married she is under the authority of her husband and is not bound to obey her parents against the wishes of her husband. So, it is clear that certain situations in life abrogate the legal jurisdiction that a parent has over a child, such that a child is no longer required to "obey". Honor? Yes, always, but not obey ... not indefinitely anyway.<br><br>So my question is particularly dealing with a divorce situation in which, say the father, has been guilty of adultery, disciplined by the church, and gets divorced from the mother who has custody over the child and is the innocent party in the divorce. I would say that such a man has deserted the family and no longer serves as a lawful authority over the child. A child should continue to honor him as a father but not feel obligated to obey him since he has forfeited that area of jurisdiction. Make sense?<br><br>Sincerely in Christ,<br><br>~Jason<br>

#6128 - Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:31 PM Re: Children Obey Your Parents... [Re: Jason1646]  
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Jason,<br><br>Let's turn your scenario around to one that is also very realistic. A man divorces his wife for adultery but the court awards custody to her, according to the national statistics 94% of the time. Are the children, in your estimation to obey their father rather than their mother, even though the civil authorities working under the influence of the Feminist agenda deem the mother the "best" parent?<br><br>There is another thing about this whole thing that is really bothering me. It is this idea of "lawful authority", which smells like some kind of Theonomistic covenantalism. Does this "lawful authority" notion supersede the NATURAL relationship which children are born into by God's providence? Is a man or a woman no longer a child's parent because of some act of sin or in so many cases, especially in regard to men/fathers, the real innocent party due to a bigoted order of a pagan Judge and domestic judiciary?<br><br>In His Grace,


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#6129 - Thu Oct 02, 2003 5:41 AM Re: Children Obey Your Parents... [Re: Jason1646]  

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Hello!!! I was assuming you meant unmarried children!! Why would you even ask if children are to obey their parents if they are married???<br><br>And excuse me, but I feel like you are looking for a loophole to teach children to disobey. As if they needed an help.<br>The real issue is having the other parent, regardless who is the "guilty" party, actually want to parent enough so that the children can obey.<br><br>The eternal, perfect God-man, who was creator of the world, obeyed a sinful mother and father. What other proof do you need?<br>If a father/mother who is guilty of a sin (which by the way, adultery nor divorce is the unpardonable sin)that in no way changes their position as father/mother. Just thank God, if there is a parent at all that would even suggest the child do something that he could obey. My experiene has been that most just want to be friends, and therefore the burden or joy of raising the children falls on just one parent.<br><br>

#6130 - Thu Oct 02, 2003 7:45 AM Re: Children Obey Your Parents...  
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<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"] And excuse me, but I feel like you are looking for a loophole to teach children to disobey. As if they needed an help. </font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>This remark is really uncalled for Linda, and it is hardly the truth. Why make such an uncharitable inference? My motive is not to find a loophole to teach children to disobey, but to correctly identify which parent ought to be lawfully obeyed in complicated divorce cases, and this can necessarily lead to disobeying the other.<br><br>It has never been my intention to imply that children can disobey their parents due to the parents' sin. 1 Peter 3:1 and Romans 13 are pretty clear that obedience is necessary to superiors under their sphere of authority even if they are unsaved and ungodly. However, there are various cases in which a living biological parent ceases to act as the lawful authority over the child and hence the child is not obligated to "obey", though he is always obligated to honor. Aside from the example of marriage I would add that a son may leave home and begin his own life, making his own decisions respecting his parents' counsel, not feeling obliged to "obey" their commands. Similarly, a parent may give their child up for adoption, and that child is now obligated to obey the adopting parents rather than the biological parents. Hence, I am sure you can admit that there are points when a biological parent ceases to have commanding authority over a child and my question is intended to discern whether or not such possibilities exist in divorce situations ... not to find a loophole for disobedience.<br><br>I would be curious as to how you would counsel a teen-age girl in this hypothetical situation: Her father has been excommunicated from the church due to unrepentant adultery, which has led to divorce. The daughter is living under the custody of her godly mother after the divorce, while the father is living with his mistress after having willfully deserted the family. She wants to drive to a Reformed Conference on a Friday night and has permission from her mother. She speaks with her father over the phone and he commands her not to go. Must she obey him and abstain from going?<br><br>Sincerely in Christ,<br><br>~Jason<br>

#6131 - Thu Oct 02, 2003 8:13 AM Re: Children Obey Your Parents... [Re: Pilgrim]  
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<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"] Let's turn your scenario around to one that is also very realistic. A man divorces his wife for adultery but the court awards custody to her, according to the national statistics 94% of the time. Are the children, in your estimation to obey their father rather than their mother, even though the civil authorities working under the influence of the Feminist agenda deem the mother the "best" parent? </font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Hi Pilgrim. First, just to address a point in your previous post, I share your lament over the current policy of viewing the mother as the a priori proper custodian of the children, as the courts do today. It seems as though unless she can be proven to be a total lunatic, say, a Republican or something [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif" alt="laugh" title="laugh[/img], she will be awarded custody and this practice is unbiblical. I believe that unless it can be shown that a man has deserted his family or is otherwise unfit to provide care for the children, then he should be awarded custody as the head of household. That will be sure to make me unpopular with a good number of women today. [Linked Image]<br><br>So to get to your specific question, if the father has not abandoned, deserted, or otherwise forfeited his right to command his children then the child needs to obey him as their lawful head, even if he is not living in the household. Two examples that come to mind are desertion (as objectively discerned by church discipline) and giving a child up for adoption. There may be others as well. Hence, I believe in the case that you have presented, the child is still obligated to obey the father because he has not deserted or forfeited his headship. The sticky point comes when there is a disagreement between the mother and father when she has "lawful" custody. Now you have the potential for the child to be disobeying the civil authorities if the mother is her legal guardian. I would still have to side with the father here in all likelihood, but hopefully he would have the wisdom not to command something that is unnecessarily disruptive to the peace and order of the home.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"] There is another thing about this whole thing that is really bothering me. It is this idea of "lawful authority", which smells like some kind of Theonomistic covenantalism. Does this "lawful authority" notion supersede the NATURAL relationship which children are born into by God's providence? </font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Not sure what you mean in identifying my current thinking with Theonomistic covenantalism, but it does appear to me that there are cases when the natural relationship is superseded by subsequent events that alter the lawful jurisdiction of the natural parents. As I mentioned previously, if a child were adopted then I would say that he needs to obey his adoptive parents even if the natural ones come along in 5 years and start trying to be the parents again.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"] Is a man or a woman no longer a child's parent because of some act of sin or in so many cases, especially in regard to men/fathers, the real innocent party due to a bigoted order of a pagan Judge and domestic judiciary?</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>In the manner you have presented it, I would say no. I would also direct you to my post to Linda for any additional clarifications.<br><br>Sincerely in Christ,<br><br>~Jason<br><br>

#6132 - Thu Oct 02, 2003 8:53 AM Re: Children Obey Your Parents... [Re: Jason1646]  

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Dear Jason:<br><br>Forgive me for interrupting in this discussion, but I had a thought that I think addresses the concerns that both you and Linda are addressing, and it seems to me that you both have legitimate points and questions. <br><br>It seems that, as both your example senario and Linda's experience, as well as scripture, I believe, would define a parent as one who is SCRIPTURALLY looking to the NEEDS of the CHILD, not their own selfish wants or unmet needs. That is why the scripture says "obey your parents IN THE LORD", creating a caveat. Thus, in your senario the daughter is under no obligation scripturally to obey her natural father who is: 1) no longer acting as her parent in the Lord, 2) commanding her to disobey the scripture with respect to "forsake not the assembling together (yes I know it is a friday not the sabath, but the command doesn't limit the time to sunday only and the intent is clearly to fellowship and worship and learn which I assume is the intent of the Reformed conference in the senario). <br><br>Linda's point about an absent or uninvolved father, or worse as Linda points out, involved only to the extent of catering to the false desires of the child and the natural father, are equally subject to the admonition. "Obey your parents in the Lord". Was the advice given to Linda's daughter to become a bartender given "IN THE LORD"? Obviously not. <br><br>What I'm saying is that in cases where there is a prolonged pattern of abuse and abbrogation of the RESPONSIBILITY of being a parent, such biological parent would not, perhaps, meet the definition of scriptural parent. I'm not trying to over simplify a complex legal or scriptural conundrum, but rather to offer some thoughts on how to actually deal with the commands that come to children from their sinful parents. Remember, it is the child that has to sort this out as well as the parents, and the child, youth, teenager has an increasing responsibility to answer to the Lords' wishes, rather, in many cases, than the parents. Remember the Lord's answer as a 12 yr old to his parents that accused him of wrong in staying in Jerusalem? He rebuked their error, but "remained in subjection to them". This, I believe, is given for our instruction. If a child is faithfully taught these things, as Linda pointed out, they they will be able sort out the sins of their parents and their own old sinful nature under the Spirits light on the Word. <br><br>I guess what I'm saying is that if one tries to stay with the intent of scripture rather than getting hung up on the surface, or legal aspect, which was designed to teach a principle, one can sort through these things, if not with ease, then with peace of conscience. <br><br>Gerry

#6133 - Thu Oct 02, 2003 9:05 AM Re: Children Obey Your Parents... [Re: Jason1646]  
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Jason,<br><br>Yes, heaven forbid anyone would sink that low to be identified as a Republican! [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/rofl.gif" alt="rofl" title="rofl[/img]<br><br>I certainly agree that there are some special situations where the natural, biological association is no longer binding, e.g., adoption. But I cannot give a blanket assent to the issue of "desertion". Even if a father or mother abandons their spouse does not necessarily mean that they have abandoned their children as a parent. In the situation you gave, where the man was disciplined and excommunicated for unrepentant adultery and living with his mistress, he would still be the child(ren)'s father. And, as long as his advice was not contrary to the will of God for that child, then I believe he should be obeyed. Actually, is the situation you posed, real or otherwise any different than one where the parents are happily married and living in the same household where there is a disagreement between them in regard to a particular issue? If the husband says "Yes" and the wife says "No" (not that this would or even could possibly happen in real life. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/rolleyes.gif" alt="rolleyes" title="rolleyes[/img] ), then in the ideal home, the man's word is to be taken over that of the woman's, assuming that it is not a command or encouragement to sin.<br><br>How many godly wives are married to unbelieving husbands who discourage or even forbid them to fraternize with other Christians, attend church functions or even worship services? These are those situations where the Christian woman is far more challenged and tempted than a man due to her obligation to submit to her head.<br><br>Although I strongly believe that the Scriptures allow divorce and remarriage for the cause of adultery and/or desertion, I am constantly burdened with the consequences which often result from divorce in general. And lastly, it isn't just the children who are effected, but all parties. We are all sinners and labour in a fallen world, suffering from the consequences of our own sins as well as those of everyone else. The Church needs far more compassion, IMHO, toward this particular issue and INVOLVEMENT, instead of expressing a self-righteous "horror" and rejection of those who are divorced and/or even seeking divorce.<br><br>In His Grace,


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#6134 - Thu Oct 02, 2003 9:58 AM Re: Children Obey Your Parents...  
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Hello Gerry,<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"] Forgive me for interrupting in this discussion, but I had a thought that I think addresses the concerns that both you and Linda are addressing, and it seems to me that you both have legitimate points and questions.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>It was an open discussion, so I welcome your contributions. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/smile.gif" alt="smile" title="smile[/img]<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"] It seems that, as both your example senario and Linda's experience, as well as scripture, I believe, would define a parent as one who is SCRIPTURALLY looking to the NEEDS of the CHILD, not their own selfish wants or unmet needs. That is why the scripture says "obey your parents IN THE LORD", creating a caveat. Thus, in your senario the daughter is under no obligation scripturally to obey her natural father who is: 1) no longer acting as her parent in the Lord, 2) commanding her to disobey the scripture with respect to "forsake not the assembling together (yes I know it is a friday not the sabath, but the command doesn't limit the time to sunday only and the intent is clearly to fellowship and worship and learn which I assume is the intent of the Reformed conference in the senario). </font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>I don't think your definition could hold up consistently and I disagree with your line of argumentation here. A lawful parent could very well command a child not to attend a Reformed Conference for a good reason. Perhaps they don't want the child driving so far by himself, spending the money, etc. The child has no God given right or duty to attend that conference, so I find your reference to the Hebrews passage to be overextension.<br><br>Other than that, I fear that by making the obligation to obedience contingent solely upon someone Scripturally looking into the needs of a child is too arbitrary and subjective. Surely we can't just apply this to anyone who is Scripturally looking into the needs of a child, otherwise we could justify fellow church members or church leaders assuming the duties that lawfully belong to parents anytime they see the parents making unbiblical decisions. If a child can disobey a parent because they are no longer acting like a parent, then should we not conclude that a wife can rebel against her husband if he is not acting like a husband? Yet, that is strictly forbidden by Scripture. No, we are commanded to obey lawful authorities and submit to them even when they are acting selfishly:<br><br>18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. (1 Peter 2:18 - 20)<br><br>Now if they do command something that is explicitly a sin against the Lord, that is when we need to respectfully say, "We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29). But I don't think the issue is better resolved by asking the question "Which parent is giving me the more biblically informed answer?", but rather, "Which parent lawfully serves as the head of my household?"<br><br>Sincerely in Christ,<br><br>~Jason<br>

#6135 - Thu Oct 02, 2003 11:08 AM Re: Children Obey Your Parents... [Re: Jason1646]  
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<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]But I don't think the issue is better resolved by asking the question "Which parent is giving me the more biblically informed answer?", but rather, "Which parent lawfully serves as the head of my household?"</font><hr></blockquote><p>Exactly! God has established certain "spheres" of relationships and authority within which HE has established a "head" and to whom all within that "sphere" are to give honor, submission and obedience as long as that which is required does not entail sin. I have had to counsel women who were being oppressed by a tyrannical husband to remain in the home and submit to them; an extremely painful experience for me personally because what was being required and/or denied to these godly women was not sinful nor necessary for life itself. Such situations, once again, have left a permanent impression upon me concerning the tremendous consequences of the Fall and the depravity of mankind.<br><br>Maranatha! Lord come quickly.<br><br>


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#6136 - Thu Oct 02, 2003 11:10 AM Re: Children Obey Your Parents... [Re: Jason1646]  

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Jason:<br><br>Thanks for the reply. <br><br>In response to:<br><br>" But I don't think the issue is better resolved by asking the question "Which parent is giving me the more biblically informed answer?", but rather, "Which parent lawfully serves as the head of my household?"<br><br>What I am in essence suggesting here is that your last statement contains a false dichotomy. In other words, I don't believe that there is any difference, in Christs eyes, between a "Biblically informed, and guided parent, and the parent that is the SCRIPTURALLY LEGAL head of the household. I believe that this was the issue Christ was speaking to when he summarized "all the law and the prophets" with the command to love God and neighbor as self. Notice how the law is CONTAINED IN THE COMMAND TO LOVE, just as the motivation and teaching of the law was love. <br><br>In other words, when you say:<br><br>"A lawful parent could very well command a child not to attend a Reformed Conference for a good reason."<br><br>I agree with you completely, but I ask the question, "Is the parent in the senario you have given the "lawful parent" according to scripture? Hasn't this parent deserted the wife and child, and chosen to live in sin? Haven't they, in many cases refused to support, or only minimally support, the child financially? In my view, though there may be a civil legal tie, there is no scriptural tie in such cases, where, as I pointed out in the last post, there is a long protracted pattern of abbrogation of responsibility.<br><br>As to the other cases you mention, I don't think there is the same scriptural warrant or legal mandate in the case of employers, so this is another issue and in the case of wives being subject to unbelieving husbands, again the issue is not the same as the parent child relationship and the scripture doesn't by any means indicate that the wife is to obey the husband when his commands are contrary to the scripture. It is also true that while difficult to do, the woman and the employee can both "submit" in the sense of being in submission generally and projecting that air and attitude in all that they DO, while at the same time not doing exactly everything that the husband or boss asks, in the way that is asked. In other words, there are ways to be a good wife or employee and still maintain ones integrity in many situations. <br><br>It isn't always easy, and without scriptural knowledge and some maturity it is almost impossible, but it can be done, in most cases without being the one leaving. In my own experience, where I have been asked to do illegal things by employers, and my former employment brought me into daily conflict with this issue, I have met with both grudging respect and outright rejection and advancement, depending on how I handled the situation and on how it was received. In no case does the scripture guarantee that the employer, or husband, will respond positively, but there is certainly the possibility implied. We must do what is right in God's eyes, with an attitude of humility and subjection, and leave the response to Him, which is what I believe Linda was trying to say. <br><br>That is what I am suggesting, not some panacea, or some majic bullet, or some reason for rebellion. The scriptures don't suggest this and neither do I.<br><br>I hope that makes my position a little clearer.<br><br>In Him<br><br>Gerry <br>

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