Many people would fill this blank in with the answer, children.
This is certainly a correct answer, but another equally correct answer also fills the blank.
My answer: Parents.
I’ll be honest…there have been many selfish moments in my life where I would not admit this fact. But when I look at where I am, what I’ve learned and been taught, how I react to my circumstances, who I “hang out” with, what I believe, where I spend my time…(this is certainly not exhaustive)…I willingly admit, these areas have been influenced by my God-given, loving parents.
My parents have been such great examples of Christ’s grace and love. (Of course, none of us are perfect; but even when sin occurs, learning the concepts of forgiveness and repentance are very evident.) I have learned so much from them…and I hope I never forget or regret these things!
I have seen so many peers around me turn from their parents or “encourage” me to turn away. It is so sad to see this happen. God has placed our parents as authority in our lives for a reason. It’s not to restrict us from “having fun” or to prevent us from enjoying life and its benefits/activities!
Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right!”
Colossians 3:20, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”
Proverbs consistently calls the “son” to hear his father’s instruction; to not forsake his mother’s teaching.
The Old Testament believers took God’s command, “Honor your father and mother”, very seriously. When a son rebelled against his parents, they were to bring him before the congregation and stone him! Ultimately, disobeying your parents is equal to disobeying God!!
The New Testament, specifically Jesus’ words and the epistles, emphasizes the fact that believers are to submit to earthly authority.
Obviously, the Bible…God!…is very clear on this subject – children, obey your parents!
After saying all of this, I realize that I am calling myself to a high standard. It isn’t easy writing about this subject, because now I’m expected to “walk the talk.” I’m not saying that I’ve achieved perfect obedience…and I won’t on this earth…but I desire to obey God’s commands! My parents are doing their best to fulfill their responsibility to raise me in a way that would be honoring to the Lord. They deserve my obedience and respect!