God’s Direction to Parents: Boundaries in Loving Relationships
(Why Parents Say No)
Wow, here we are already a couple of weeks into the new year. Time flies fast doesn’t it? I am excited to introduce our new study for the 4th and 5th graders. There are three modules in this curriculum. The first is entitled “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?” Over the next eight weeks we will be taking a Biblical view of the relationships that we have with one another, and ultimately with God. I look forward to what the Lord has in store for all of us as we study His word together.
Why Parents Say No
We often think that it would solve all of life’s problems if we could just have everything we wanted, or if we always just got our way. This lesson will help us gain understanding that those in authority over us, especially our parents, don’t allow us to do whatever we want. In fact, they are being obedient to God’s commands and trying to keep us safe. Let’s be thankful that our parents love us enough to set boundaries and sometimes say, “No.”
God asks the Israelites why they don’t show respect or tremble in His presence. God says that even the ocean’s waves cannot cross the boundaries that He set. The boundaries in this passage keep the oceans in place, and keep us safe. Take a moment and reflect how boundaries can be helpful or positive in our lives. What other boundaries has God set, because of His love for us, to keep us safe?
The Ten Commandments. We are very familiar with them, however, did you realize that they are designed to protect us, rather than keep us from having fun? Let’s look at the first four commandments. The first four commandments teach us about how to live lives that are honoring to God, bringing us closer to Him. The remaining six commandments deal with having healthy, appropriate relationships with others. What commandments or boundaries do parents have in place that are designed to protect and help us? Remember that the 5th commandment is to honor and listen to our parents, even when they tell us no.
This passage focuses our attention, again, on obedience to our parents, because it’s the right thing to do. God does not stop there, however, and He reminds parents to raise their children with discipline and instruction that comes directly from God. God approves of parents saying no, especially when they are walking in obedience to His word and create boundaries intended to help and protect us. When our parents tell us no, and set boundaries, it shows us how much they love us.
Sometimes we want to question our parents or authority, and ask why. We often think we understand the whole picture regarding the boundaries in our lives. On the contrary, we are to honor our parents by obedience to the boundaries they have placed in our lives. Remember, the boundaries are there because of their love for us.