What the Bible says about parents BIBLE CENTER
The question of what the Bible says about the relationships between generations – one of the most frequently asked on our site. Below are the main, though not all biblical texts related to this theme.
The statements of Scripture about the relationships between parents and children are very numerous, since it is an important spiritual and moral problem in people’s lives. Each era within its culture brings to the solution of something; The Bible offers us a look at this issue from a spiritual point of view. The most important thing that tells us the Word of God about these relationships, – that they are always built before the face of God and for the Creator care about how we act in relation to its parents and children.
The statements of Scripture on this subject can be divided into four groups. First, the relationship between parents and children are discussed in detail in the Pentateuch, mainly in the framework of the law of Moses. The first and one of the key words about family relationships we find in the very beginning of the Bible in the story of the creation of man. By establishing marriage as the norm of family life, the Lord speaks of a certain age of emancipation of children from their parents, not canceling the moral content of their relationship. Further, the other books of the Pentateuch, contains the commandment of honoring and respecting the parents. Words about honoring included in the Ten commandments – the very Foundation of biblical faith and morality, – not limited by age, or marital status of a person; duty of honoring parents is being built here in the obligation not so much by parents before, how much before God.
At the same time, the law imposes on parents a duty to care primarily about the moral character of children (Deut. 21:ll). Although in some texts we hear echoes of tribal consciousness in the ancient Near East, uniting all households under the authority and moral responsibility of the head of the house, nevertheless the Word of God, Zapovednaya FILIAL piety, clearly shares the moral responsibility of children and parents for their lives (Deut. 24:16) .
Pays special attention to the Law of the ban to speak evil parents. Here, almost for the first time in religious history, the word according to its spiritual meaning is equivalent to the act.
The second group of statements about the relationship of generations is in the didactic and partly historical books of the Bible. Largely repeating the Law says, the didactic books of the Bible focusing on the responsibilities of parents to care for the spiritual growth of children. Wisdom meaning in the didactic books living the commandments of God, obedience to God and avoidance of sin, – that’s the main thing that parents should pass on to children. The didactic books consider righteousness as a work requiring wisdom and efforts of will. That is why the teaching of wisdom, the teaching of moral principles, associated here with the need to use parental authority. Indulging weaknesses and impulses of children drives according to Jesus, the son of sirakova to disastrous for parents and children consequences (Ser. 30:SLL). However the didactic books emphasize that in order to give children the experience of righteousness, the parents themselves must live in accordance with the commandments (Sir. 41:SLL). In addition, the didactic books talk about the debt of gratitude to my parents for what they did for their children (Tov. 4:3-4. Ser. 7:29-30 ).
Small volume, the third group of texts belongs to the prophetic books. Exceptional value have here the words of the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel. The prophet Isaiah compares towards earthly father and mother, who gave birth to man, with the attitude towards the Creator. From the similarity of these relations follows a debt of honor and gratitude to God and parents. Simultaneously the obligation of the parents is likened to what God is doing in regard to people created by him.
The prophet Ezekiel, refuting the name of the Almighty popular beliefs of his time, announces the personal responsibility of each person before God. Neither the righteousness of the father save the son, nor sin of the father will kill the son; the righteousness of the son save the father, and the sin of the son kills the father. God, therefore, builds relationships with each person separately. At the same time these words of Ezekiel emphasize that despite the significance of mutual responsibilities, the spiritual life of parents and children is quite isolated, at least this applies to adult children. Therefore, the relationship between generations can sometimes acquire a conflicting nature, as saith the prophet Micah (this word will later quoted by Jesus Christ). Freeing people from sin in family relations prophets see as a result of the saving action of God, which must be done through Christ. Only He can, in the words of the prophet Malachi, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, to give them the possibility of true spiritual unity in the face of God.
In General, for the old Testament is characterized by the consideration of the relations between parents and children in a religious context; the relationship should be dedicated to God and built in His dignity. Already in ancient times, these views were in contradiction with the unbiblical approach to the problem (2 MACC. 7:ll) .
Finally, the fourth and last group of statements relates to the New Testament. Largely new Testament texts repeat, and sometimes directly quote the most important ideas formulated in the old Testament. However, for the New Testament the problem of the relations between generations looks special case of relations between people in General; as in all other cases, the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ are called to love our neighbors – including family members. The Lord himself, as stressed by the gospel, submitted Himself in childhood parental authority of His Mother and father called Joseph. In the future, the Lord turned to the words of the prophet Micah, and stressed that the relationship with God is fundamentally important for the construction of any human relationship. Because of this they can be a source of division between people, including family. The Lord calls the disciples His family (Matt. 12:ll). giving kinship relations radically spiritual. A special place among the words of the Lord Jesus Christ is the parable of the prodigal son (LK. 15:11-32). in which the Lord used the prophet Isaiah, speaks of the kind of relationship with God and relationships with parents. An example of love and compassion, connecting parents and children, at all times was the grief of the blessed virgin Mary at the foot of the cross.
The Epistles of the Apostle Paul, in the new context repeat the commandment to honor parents as a call for love. The Apostle emphasizes that children and parents are called to love and their obligations to each other are mutual. Speaking of honoring parents, the Apostle adds the words on that parents should respect children.