Often as parents, we listen to a sermon on how children should obey their parents, darting glances in the direction of these poor helpless children. We don’t realize that they are so often just a helpless victim of their manipulative parents.
Are we emotionally manipulative parents? Often we also fail to ask ourselves this very important question. Yet all the while, we impose on our kids the importance of their duties towards their parents.
Well, what does the Bible say about manipulative parents? In other words, what is the real explanation of this fourth commandment that says honor your father and your mother.
Self Check: Are We Manipulative Parents?
The answer lies in Ephesians 6:4, and so for those of you who have not read the Bible, here is a brief look at it.
“Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, bring them up with Christian discipline and instruction.”
Now, am I guilty of any of the above things? If you still haven’t understood the above verse, don’t worry, for St Paul has another one for you from Colossians 3:20.
“Parents, do not irritate your children, or they will become discouraged.”
There, that should be enough to convince you, but for those parents who are still sitting with a frown on your face, let’s continue.
What Does the Bible Say About Manipulative Parents?
Okay, so the fourth commandment gives you no license to nag your children. Cook any correction you give them in love, peace and patience.
One way of doing this is to bring them up in Christian discipline and instruction. A child who learns the commandments and the message of God everyday will know well in advance what to do and what not to. He will not need any harsh disciplining but gentle reminders that you can give as parents.
What If We Are Manipulative Parents?
There, did that get your doubt cleared. And if you feel like an emotionally manipulative parent, don’t worry. Make a good confession today and get this out of your conscience.
And then, let’s focus on being better parents. For at the end of the day, you do love your children and want what is best for them, don’t you?
Remember that honor between parents and children goes either way. Children have the Christian duty to obey their parents. Yet, parents too have the moral duty to love, respect and understand the feelings of their children. Amen.
Let’s Not Be Manipulative Parents!
Remember that as a parent you don’t always have to win the fight. What matters in the end is that your children are willingly doing what you tell them.
Every no should come with an explanation. Every rebuke should come with love, the way Mary and Joseph, hand in hand parenting their Son, rebuked the little one.
Like Jesus, they can sometimes be right. This calls for us to ponder their little words and actions in our hearts, studying them in the Gospel’s light. For at the end of the day, that’s what makes for gentle parenting, and that’s what we must be, gentle parents like our own parents, Mary and Joseph.