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Discussion in 'Youth Forum' started by Aaron, Nov 16, 2002.
How long do parents have authority over us?
The answer that I have found for me personally follows several strains.
1.) I am a self supporting adult that left home at 18. I pay my own bills, I own my own car. My dependancy for such things from my parents is nil.
2.) They do not "know" the Lord. They claim Christianity, but are fruitless. In fact, ungodliness is a term I would sometimes use.
Therefore under the "authority" umbrella, I believe that I have to honor, respect, and help care for their needs, but I do not feel that I must obey their every whim. I am not sure what your definition of "authority" is, but in mine, they do not bear much weight.
I would say it is when you get married. According to the verse that says that man shall leave his mother and father and cleave unto his wife.
If you have godly parents there is nothing to worry about.
until they are dead
Honour your father and mother means you must at least respect them
Their authority lessens when you move out
Their authority lessens when you get married
Their authority increases when you have kids
That's a good question... I would have to say that when you are living under your own roof and are not financially dependant either...then you pretty much have a right to decide what you will do regarding your own life.
I will add however that parents have probably been through anything and everything you could possibly go through...so it would be to your benefit to listen to what they have to say...not saying that you have to follow their advise...but much wisdom comes with age, and there can be value gained from any avenue.
As for me... I respect my parents...and I listen to what they have to say...then I use their info...and what I've collected on my own...and make up my own mind.
I remember when I had my first apartment... I didn't share either...and I could do what I liked...and it felt really good to be responsible for the outcome...good or bad.
Ah, Aaron, at LEAST until you are 95.
Unless you are the kid. Then it usually ends about age 16 if you have your way!
Somewhere in between is about right.
But as long as you live in their home, they have authority over things that affect their home, such as what time you will be home and letting them know where you are and what is going on. Don't forget that if a person is, say, involved with drugs then the homeowners, in many states, can also be prosecuted if they also live in the home.
If you are not living at home and out of high school, your life is basically your own, assuming you are earning your own money.
They authority, in short, extends as far as your dependence on them.
As far as girls,I think they should be under a man at all times unless widowed...so if they are not married,they should be still under the authority and protection of their father. With boys,they are to leave,be established and cleave to their wives. Boys and girls are different. The girls are to be given...
Helen, you summed it up brilliantly with this:
Although, I can see a difference between authority and control (power). I trust my parents, and see them as authorities still, but they have very little control (power) over me. In fact, they rarely exerted much power over me, and in their fairness and just strength, became true authorities in my life. I thank them for that.
Because of that, I still look to them as authorities, even though I am no longer financially dependent on them (thus they have no control over me and my life) and am not under their control.
I love being responsible for my own affairs -- the good and the bad. It's empowering to me to be able to make it on my own - paying rent, paying off my student loans, getting credit, finding my way in my job, taking care of an animal, volunteering, making new friends . . . just generally being independent.
True, I'm a woman, but I don't see that I'm required to live with my parents and stay under their thumb until I'm married and passed off to someone else (which very idea is distasteful to me . . . I'm not chattel).
You do raise an interesting issue, though, Molly. How do others feel about that - are the parental standards different for men and women?
What? A responsible, well-adjusted young woman needs authority that a scatter-brained, hormone-influenced young man doesn't?
Tell me that's not what you're saying.
Oh,well if you put it that way....
What I mean is,it is probably a good idea for a man to be established,on his own and then be prepared for marriage. Thhe young lady should then be given to marriage from her father. I'm very old-fashioned about these things.
Oh and this is just ideas,I'm not saying it is biblical....!
Actually, I think Molly is closer to the truth than we think.
The man is under the authority of his parents until he is married, or they die. Whichever comes first. "For this cause [marriage] shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife."
And, "The head of every woman is the man." So the woman is to be under the authority of her father (or closest male kin if the father is absent) until she is given away in marriage.
I did appreciate all the well-thought-out responses. Especially this one:
Originally posted by Helen:
Ever say something that is so susinct that time stands still? You hit that nail on the head me thinks.
As for me... I will always defer to the judgement of my mother...it's healthier in the long run
Okay, I'm 36, and my mother is nearly 70 and in great health, thank the good Lord!
If she calls me and makes a request of me, I'm bound by the 4th commandmenmt to fulfill her request, so long as her requests are not inappropriate or immoral, and so long as it does not compromise my Christian obligations (those of father,husband, billpayer, etc).
I often get a call saying "can you replace a light bulb, reset a fuse, replace the batteries in my clock, reset the clock on the microwave, etc. For me to refuse would not be very honorable to my mother.
Thankfully, she only lives two miles away from me. If would be difficult to replace her light bulb if I lives in New York and she was in Los Angeles.
As far as her authority over me, her guidance and wisdom will go far beyond the day she dies. Therefore, her authority will probably end not the day she dies, but the day I die.
[ December 02, 2002, 08:01 PM: Message edited by: Johnv ]
Aaron and Molly --
I cyber-love you two, but no! I will not be under
the thumb of anyone not of my choosing. 8o)
If I were single, living independently, No Man and
No Woman would have and dominance over my
My mother fought my first marriage. He was
wonderful to me. It would have been a most hor-
rible mistake not to have married him. When I
was widowed, she spread malicious gossip that
I was sleeping with my brother-in-law. Never
happened. Never even came close to happening.
How did she get her information? I was in Cali-
fornia and she was in Mississippi. When I de-
cided to remarry, she spread malicious gossip
about my present husband and claimed our
marriage was a failure. How did she know? I
was still on the West Coast, and she was still
in the South. Do I need that? 8oD NO!
My father disowned me three times before he
died; my mother is my only living parent. I write
to her when I can and send her a couple gifts
each year. I pray for her.
But I need her not to be in my life.
Oh, yes! And no one gave me to anybody at our
wedding. I am not chattel either. I am an individual
with my own soul, mind, and body, owned by no
one other than my Lord, the Messiah.
[ December 02, 2002, 09:05 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
Molly, I agree with you on this one. God provides us girls/women protection through our men folk.
In a godly family environment,there would be an ideal,which was what I stated....obviously,your's is an exception...esp if your parents do not know the Lord.
In a family like ours and how we are raising our daughters,they will be under the godly authority of their father(my husband) until marriage.
I was talking to my 9-year-old granddaughter
the other day, as she told me about some of the
things her parents had recently done, and I
said, "You know, Honey, you are so fortunate
to have parents like that."
She responded, "Yeah. I was just thinking that."
But they don't own her.
Maybe I don't know what it is like to have such
parents, but what I do have is two fabulous
fathers-in-law and a great mother-in-law. The
only thing I would change about them is move
But they don't own me. 8o)
[ December 03, 2002, 11:40 AM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
This is our plan for our children as well.
I too came from a home that was not traditional, nor was it always a pleasant place to grow up. I stopped being under my fathers influence when my mother won custody of my brother and myself when I was 13. It would have been so much nicer if I had had a father that would have been protective and charitable towards me that I could have been under the authority of until I married...but with my father it was more of an abusive relationship...which is not what I believe God the father intended a father/daughter relationship to be about. And because I did not have a good role model of marriage and men, I had to learn the hard way.
My children have the benifit of having a father...just like what you read in the Hallmark cards...and I hope that they will cling to the authority of their father until they decide to marry. He is truly worthy of that honor.
My children are still very young, so who knows how the story will turn out...but that's the plan anyway.
[ December 03, 2002, 06:05 PM: Message edited by: WisdomSeeker ]
I come from a Christian (Baptist) family. My father is a wonderful and Godly man. I respect him, and consider him an authority, certainly. But I don't live in his household, nor do I seek his guidance in every matter. I don't expect him to have much say in who I choose to marry, and he's expressed little desire to "give me away."
Of my parents, I think it's been my father who has instilled the biggest sense of independence in me. I thank him every day for that. He has told me many times (only since I've gotten older) that he trusts my judgement and doesn't feel any need to be an overt authority in my life. We have a healthy, mutual respect for each other and our choices. There are things I do that he doesn't expressly approve of, I'm sure, but he recognizes my authority to make my own choices in my life.
It's guidance and wisdom that I look to him for rather than permission or any sort of power over what I do or how I live.
I said before that I make a disctinction between power and authority, and I don't see that living on my own or making my own decisions, or even not being "given away" violate any sort of authority my parents have in my life.
I'm sure (know) that some disagree with that, and it runs further than parental authority, and that's well and good. I don't see anyu conflict with it, though.
Parents should be authorities, certainly. If there's a good relationship between parents and children, I don't see any reason for that to ever change. We could always benefit from others' wisdom and experience, no matter how old we are.