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This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Youth YouTube channel.

God Is Greater Than Your Parents

God is the greatest authority in our lives. We should use his word as guidance for our lives. However, our parents still have more life experience than we do. They have been through high school and dealt with the drama. They have failed and succeeded more than we have, so we should still honor the advice they have for our lives even if they don’t share our faith. You can learn a lot of valuable lessons from them.

You’re Under Your Parents’ Authority

The Bible calls us to honor our father and mother. This means that while we are living under their roof, we must live by their rules. This can be hard to do if some of those rules keep you from fully pursuing God. For example, maybe your parents won’t let you attend regular church events because they conflict with family time. You may have to give up some of your freedom in Christ to honor your parents. Remember though, this is only temporary. Once you are on your own, you are free to make your own choices about faith.

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, [a] for this is the right thing to do.

Pray for Them

It can be a challenge to pray for people who are not supportive of you, especially without it coming from a place of pity or hurt. Pray for your parents, not that they would be ok with what you believe, but rather that they could come to know the goodness and truth of God’s love. Don’t pray from a place of judgement or pray that God will condemn them for not knowing him. Pray fervently that they come to know God, just as you are called to pray for all of those who are lost. Pray also that God uses you as a light in their lives and that you will shine with his love above all else.

[Related: How to Forgive When it Hurts]

Communicate

Your parents may never agree with what you believe, but they may be able to understand you better if you take time to communicate why you believe what you believe and how you got to that place in a clear way. Some of your parents’ disapproval may come from a place of misunderstanding. They may not completely understand what changed to make your beliefs so different from theirs, but if you consistently communicate with them as to why it is important to you, they may grow into to a place of acceptance. Remember to communicate in love and not in frustration. Let the love of Jesus shine through you when you talk to them.

Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.

Serve

Look for other ways to serve your parents. Clean the house, follow their rules and deadlines, and be kind and respectful. If they disapprove of your faith, that’s on them, not you. But if you use their disapproval as an excuse to disobey them in other matters, you have missed a big point of knowing Jesus! Go above and beyond to live in a Christlike manner. Find ways to honor your parents even though it may be hard.

[Related: How to Make Your Faith Your Own]

Written content for this topic edited by Daniel Martin.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. What are some valuable lessons you’ve learned from your parents that don’t have to do with faith? Why are these lessons valuable to you?
  4. Read Exodus 20:12. What do you think it means to “honor your father and your mother?”
  5. Have your parent made rules that challenge your faith, church attendance, or related things? How are you dealing with this challenge?
  6. How can you “speak truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) to your parents about your differing beliefs?
  7. What are some ways you can go above and beyond to serve your parents? What makes these acts of service unique to your parents or your family situation, and how do you think they can help be a good witness of your faith?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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