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4 Crucial Parts of Having a Good Relationship with Your Parents - From a Christian Point of View



I'm proud to say that I have a pretty good relationship with my parents. Sure, we have arguments from time to time and sometimes my tone isn't as kind as they would like, but for the most part we get along.


But seriously, it hasn't always been this way. I haven't always been able to talk to my parents the way I do now, and we definitely haven't always had this mutual trust. It's taken a lot of time and work, but I'm so blessed with the parents I have. It takes intentionality to honor your parents and build a trusting relationship with them, especially in a world that emphasizes individuality and "you do you boo", despite what your parents say.


I recognize that not everyone has the loving, hard working parents that I do. I know that every situation is different, but I also know that the majority of us do have loving parents in a safe home, and we are called to honor our parents. And, I don't know about you, but I definitely want to get along with my parents. It makes life sooo much easier, and honestly, it's really nice knowing that I can count on my parents if I need anything.


1. Obedience


Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise - “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." - Ephesians 6:1-3


While not every aspect of my relationship with my parents is obedience, it's definitely part of it. I've learned that obedience helps build the foundation of your relationship; it helps them see you as a responsible person and creates a level of trust. Sometimes obeying your parents looks like cleaning your room when they ask, helping with the dog, or fixing your tone when they comment on it. Be helpful around the house and listen to them.


God has commanded us to obey our parents. When we obey our parents, we obey God too. Our world encourages anything but obedience, so when we are intentional about obeying our parents and honoring them as God calls us to, we are also being a light to the rest of the world.


Obedience looks different in every parent-child relationship because different parents have different expectations for their kids. Maybe for you, this looks like:

  • doing your chores when asked

  • following your parent's guidelines on when to date and rules regarding relationships

  • reflecting on your tone/attitude/phone usage whenever your parents call you out on it

No matter what it looks like in your family, be sure to obey wholeheartedly and joyfully. Just like Colossians 3 says, whatever we do, we should do it for the glory of God. If you're having a hard time obeying your parents, think of it like you're serving God in the process (because you are!).


2. Communication

In any healthy relationship, communication is super important, and that applies to your relationship with your parents as well. As the kids, we have to be able to communicate with our parents about the things going on in our lives. Whether it's activities we want to be apart of, events we want to go to, struggles with school, or anything that's frustrating us, we have to be able to effectively and respectfully share that with our parents.


Again, every set of parents and kids communicate differently. My parents may want more of a heads up than yours when it comes to asking to do something, or maybe your parents respond differently when you share about your struggles in school than mine. That's okay! The important part is that you are working on communicating with each other and figuring out what that looks like in your family. Maybe that looks like:

  • giving your parents a big enough heads up whenever you'd like to go out and do things

  • talking with them one on one about any issues or something that's bothering you

  • wait to have important conversations in person instead of over text

  • be aware of when your parents are stressed/tired/upset and wait to ask them to go out or talk about something until they are in a better mindset

Knowing how to communicate with my parents has helped strengthen our relationship even more. It's something that we're learning and working on every day, but the more that you and your parents can communicate, the better off your relationship will be.


3. Be appreciative


"Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." - Proverbs 31:31


Our parents work so hard for us. From paying the bills, buying groceries, making meals, and driving us around places, our parents make so many sacrifices for us to not only survive but live a good life. Even if you don't have the best relationship with your parents, please still try to recognize all that they do for you. And, similarly to God's command for obedience, God calls us to honor and thank our parents for the work they do for us.


To have a good relationship with your parents, it is so important to be appreciative. It can be easy, especially as their kid, to take what our parents do for granted. But we have to be intentional about acknowledging and appreciating what they do for us. All it takes is a simple "thank you". Thank them for making you dinner, folding your laundry, or picking you up from school. Thank them for letting you hang out with your friends, paying your phone bill, or teaching you something new. Thank your parents, and that will help strengthen your relationship with them.


4. Enjoy time with your parents

Believe it or not, your parents are real people too, with real interests and who (usually) enjoy spending time with their kids. Spend time learning about your parents! You might be surprised at how much you have in common. Maybe you share a love for art, a sport, or maybe a favorite singer. Maybe you both love the same kind of ice cream, or a favorite holiday. No matter how small it may seem, every little piece of common ground will help you and your parents grow closer together, and ultimately cultivate a stronger relationship.


Use that common ground to find ways to spend quality time with your parents. My mom and I love to go shopping together, and so that's one way that we can spend quality time together, and it usually results in good conversation. We're kind of the same person, so my mom and I enjoy doing most things together, like organizing the pantry or baking. My dad and I love the Olympics (I have a special place in my heart for the Olympic marathoners), so when that comes around, we'll get really into it together. We also spend a lot of time talking over my own races and workouts, and that has helped strengthen our relationship.


Whatever common ground you have with your parents, use that to spend time with them. If you have a favorite sport, watch that together. If you guys both enjoy a board game, play that together. Go shopping with your mom. Have your dad teach you how to work the grill. No matter what it is, spend time with them. The quality time together will help your relationship grow, and it might just create memories that last a lifetime.

 

I am so thankful for my parents, and I enjoy the relationship we have together. I pray that this post gives you a few tips and practical ways to work on your relationship with your parents. If you have any more advice you'd like to add, please share that in the comments below. Or, if you have any prayer requests, please drop that down below as well and I'd love to pray alongside you.

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