His Parents Were Too Strict

by Boyd Sellers

Have you ever heard that statement? You'll see some scraggly kid who cares about nothing and nobody, who has long ago left the Lord (though he may have been faithfully "going to church"), and who has literally broken his parents hearts. You ask a friend, "What happened to him?" And he answers, "His parents were too strict - they made him assemble when the saints assembled - they made him dress modestly - they made him keep himself clean - etc., etc., etc."

HIS PARENTS WERE TOO STRICT? I don't believe it for a minute! They may have been inconsistent, or the child may have been rebellious, but too strict? I don't think so.

It is important that we understand that God demands that parents be strict. God commands that children obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1) and honor their parents (Ephesians 6:2). Fathers are commanded to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). That requires strictness and discipline. It requires a decided attitude about what that father wants his child to be morally and spiritually.

Now, if you're talking about the parent who is ungodly, who wants his children to be something that he doesn't intend to be, that's HYPOCRISY. Or if you're talking about the child of godly parents who makes up his mind that he's not going to live right, that's REBELLION. But, remember, a child doesn't ruin his life simply because a godly mother and father were "too strict." He had to go wrong IN SPITE OF all that they did for him. God demands that parents be strict. (see also Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:6, 15; 23:13-14; 29:15,17).