Question:

Good day,

I am a 21 year old born again and spirit-filled. I'm currently in a relationship with Christian sister, who is also born again and Spirit-filled. She is 18 years old. Though our relationship is based on the Word of God, we have the don't and the do's of our relationship. I love her sincerely and she also loves me.

The issue I am having is that my mum is against the relationship. She says I am too young, and points to my elder siblings' success and the ages they got married. The Bible says we should obey our parents in all things, and we should also honor them so our days may be prolong. What she said is true because we are both young, we are still students, I have not achieved anything yet, and I have a long way to go. I know that the relationship will be demanding financially, though I am spending quite a bit of money on airtime. She said that if I get married soon, I won't take of my younger siblings and my parents.

Please I need your advice: Should I stop the relationship or continue?

In anticipation for your reply.


Answer:

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth"" (Ephesians 6:1-3).

"Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord" (Colossians 3:20).

The commands given in Ephesians 6:1 and Colossians 3:20 are not unqualified. The command is for children and not adults. In addition, Ephesians 6:1 contains an additional limit. The phrase "in the Lord" limits the obedience to those things which are right and proper according to God's commandments. A child is expected to obey God, not his parents, when his parents are wrong.

Parents and young Christians forget a very early teaching: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). There comes a time in every person's life when they leave their parent's household to establish their own. When that is done, the parent no longer can tell the departed child what to do. They are still available for advice and the child honors his parents by considering their advice, but he is on his own and must make his own choices. The idea that a parent or grandparent can run other people's live is foreign to the teachings of God.

The reason parents make decisions for their minor children is because the parents are responsible for the actions of their children. A child is not expected to understand how to make good decisions. As the child grows to adulthood, during his teenage years, he is given more freedom to make decisions, but the parent is always there to override a bad decision. But as an adult, the parent is no longer responsible and takes on the role of an advisor.

Consider this: If a grandparent wants to dictate what their adult children do, then they should also be made responsible for the actions of those same children. If an adult child overspends, then it should be proper for collection agencies to come after the parents and grandparents for payment. If an adult child commits a crime, then it should be proper for the courts to hold the parents of that adult child responsible for his actions. Of course, those who meddle in the affairs of their adult children would loudly object to such an idea! Therefore, they should not claim responsibility for their adult children's decisions.

Parents are to raise children who function on their own. "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). As in all training, it eventually comes to an end.

When the Pharisees wanted an "out" from honoring their parents in their old age, they stated that any funds that might have been used to support their parents was given to the temple. Thus they reasoned that they were no longer responsible for their parents. "He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God" -- then he need not honor his father or mother.' Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men'" (Matthew 15:3-9). Notice that under discussion of this commandment was the responsibility of adult children toward their elderly parents.

Honor is not exclusively obedience. In Matthew 15, honor meant supporting parents when they can no longer support themselves. Honor is also giving a person respect. Minor children give their parents obedience because the parent is responsible for them, but that obedience is limited to those things which are right and authorized by God. Adult children continue to honor their parents, but it is not through obedience because they have left home. As adults, honor becomes more a matter of respect and support when needed.

You are an adult and your desire to get married is not against God's law; therefore, whether you continue this relationship or not is up to you. Your mother gave you her opinion.

If you decide to form your own family, you will be responsible for your expenses. If your parents are helping you will your education costs, that will likely end and you will have to take up the expenses. There will be additional expenses because you are no longer living with your parents. It is also highly likely that children come into your life and you will have to support them. All of these things have to be considered in your choices.

It is not your responsibility to financially support your siblings or even your mother while she remains able to work (I Timothy 5:14). If you are able to help her out, that is great. But your older siblings also share in that responsibility.