Honor Your Parents By Obeying Them
Ephesians 6:1 says, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." I know this doesn't sound like a vacation. It sounds like slavery to a lot of teens. But this is God's way of doing things.

Colossians 3:22 says, "Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord."

Go overboard, bend over backward to obey your parents. Not just their commands, but their desires as well. Don't try to just get by. Don't try to get away with things.

Find out what they really want done, and do it. Go for the spirit of the law and not just the letter of the law. Find out their whims and wishes. Then blow them away by doing what they want.

Obey your parents even when you don't agree with them—especially when you don't want to. That's your chance to prove you are submitting to their God-given authority, and this pleases God.

The more willingly you submit and obey from your heart, the more open your parents will be to letting you have more freedom.

Honor Your Parents By Showing Responsibility
Many teens want the opportunity to make their own decisions but have not really shown they are responsible enough to do so. Jesus told the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. The master commended his servants saying, "...You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things..." (Matt. 25:21).

If you want to have more responsibility, you must show that you are awesome at handling the little you have now.

How do you spend your free time? How about your money? How fast do you drive? Any traffic tickets? These are all signs to your mom and dad. If you don't prove faithful in the small things, they will never give you more of what you want.

Don't always try to take a free ride. Try to pay for your own stuff once in a while instead of asking them for money all the time. When you are in the wrong, 'fess up to it. Admit your mistakes and ask them to forgive you. When you do this, you are taking responsibility for your actions.

I remember doing something wrong on purpose after I was saved. I did it just so I could admit it and be responsible and take punishment. My dad never said anything to me about it. Two days later I asked, "Dad, did you know I was out all night a couple of nights ago?"

He said, "Yes."

I said, "Dad, did you know that the Bible says that a man who doesn't discipline his son hates his son? Dad, do you hate me?"

He responded, "I think you're starting to grow up, Son."

"He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him" (Prov. 13:24).

It's good to desire more responsibility, but don't let your desire for it turn into rebellion. If you start thinking, "I'm old enough, I'm gonna do it anyway," you immediately get out of God's blessing, and your life will get really messed up.

As you prove your responsibility and honor your parents, God will open the doors for you to do the things that He wants you to do. After all, if He doesn't want you to do it, it can't be that great!

Stop right now and take some time to ask God to forgive you for any way you may have dishonored your parents. Think about what you have just read. Think of each specific situation when you were disrespectful to them, and ask God to forgive you.

Make a commitment to God to honor your parents with all your heart. You may even want to go and talk to your parents about it. Ask them to forgive you.

It does not matter if they have made a mistake; do not expect them to ask you to forgive them. You do it first. You will be amazed at what will happen in your relationship with your parents when you begin to honor them.

Source: Quit Playing With Fire by Ron Luce.
Excerpt permission granted by New Leaf Press, Inc.