The Parent-Child Relationship

Ultimately we are left with family. In fact, that may be why so many people get divorced or break up relationships. They are looking for the kind of stability that one should find within a family. Perhaps the idea of a soul mate even comes from this longing, the longing to have a place called "home" within which there is love and safety and comfort.

A stupid child is ruin to a father,
and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
Proverbs 19:13

This proverb isn't about children who lack intelligence, but rather about children who are foolish and silly. Matthew Henry writes:

"A son that will apply himself to no study or business, that will take no advice, that lives a lewd, loose, rakish life, and spends what he has extravagantly, games it away and wastes it in the excess of riot, or that is proud, foppish, and conceited, such a one is the grief of his father, because he is the disgrace, and is likely to be the ruin, of his family."

Proverbs 23:24-25 states that

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who begets a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.

There is a reciprocity within the parent-child relationship. Parents are to raise their children to be righteous; children are to choose the path of righteousness. When these children turn their backs on the Lord, it is a great sorrow to the parents. Wise children follow the Lord and His will. Foolish children stand up in arrogance and turn their backs on everything their parents believe and taught.

In a similar fashion, a spouse who sees only want and despair and whose talk is full of criticism and anger also brings discord to a home. The proverb speaks specifically of wives, but both spouses have a responsibility to take their burdens to the Lord and to bring encouragement and love to the home. God never intended for the home to be the haven for gossip, anger, and discontent. The home is the first point of ministry, the first place that a Christian should practice sacrificial love.

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Copyright by Robin L. O'Hare.
All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Permission granted for nonprofit and church groups
to use this article in its entirety (including this notice).
For other uses, contact the author.

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