This morning was picture perfect for outside exercise. The air was crisp. The sky was without a cloud and the moon was hanging high even in broad daylight. My morning speed walk was exhilarating until I passed one particular house. I was almost moving too fast to catch what was going on but I did get in on some of it.
The teenage daughter was getting in her car, parked in the driveway, apparently leaving for school. Mom was standing at the garage door saying something to her daughter. I was not able to catch what mom was saying but I did get the daughter’s response, loud and clear. “Mom, shut up!”
You can’t imagine the flood of thoughts that entered my mind. The first was, “My kids were never permitted to speak to their mom like that.” Our kids were not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but there was one thing they were never permitted to do and that was disrespect their parents, at least not to our face. I don’t know what they did behind our backs. And as I look down the line to today our kids have an extremely high regard and respect for their parents and authority figures in general.
I then began to ask myself why it is that there is so much disrespect for parents and authority in our kids today. Maybe it is parents who are too busy to give careful attention to their kid’s development and are pretty much willing to settle for anything that comes their way. Maybe it is the guilt parents feel for neglecting the tender developmental needs of their kids in favor of chasing the same materialistic idol everyone else in society seems to be bowing down to. Maybe it is just a reflection of what their kids see in them. Maybe it is because parents are more concerned about being friends to their kids than parents. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that you can’t be both. Friendship usually returns in later years but there are many years where it is more like arch enemies than friends when parents act like real parents and don’t wimp out.
So why is it that disrespect prevails in so many homes? Maybe I have or maybe I haven’t hit the real cause but I do know the inevitable effect. Disrespect in the home breeds disrespect outside the home. And in many cases disrespect in the home is multiplied outside the home.
So let me say it clearly and to the point. Excuse me if I am a little strong with this statement but, if you want to set you kids up for failure in life let them show disrespect to you in the home. It is an absolute invitation for them to show disrespect in the school, the sports team and later on in life to neighbors and the work place or whatever the setting might be.
On top of all this, it is permitting them to disobey God, miss out on His promises and live a short life. And I might add, usually a short miserable life. Check it out for yourself. Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother -which is the first commandment with a promise—that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Disrespect in kids is not a kid’s problem. It is a parental problem. Parents are responsible to teach it, model it and demand it. Failure to do so will result in devastating consequences that will only increase with each passing year.
I’m done writing now. What do you think?