The answer to this will vary from household to household but it can be a resounding no in some homes. The reason that a child may have the correct perspective for a given situation can range from the child being more devout or sincere to the child being more intellectually developed due to exposure to a broad range of factual material.
Many parents think that because they are a parent, they have all the answers regarding their child’s wellbeing. Doctors, psychologists, teachers, and even the Pope are constantly exploring the validity of current knowledge. It is a bit arrogant for a parent to take a know it all attitude in regards to a child’s well being.
JUST IN: Pope signals he’s open to married Catholic men becoming priests https://t.co/B0Xxm2zWGt
— CNN (@CNN) March 10, 2017
On a similar note, I personally don’t feel it takes a community to raise a child. My belief is that child rearing is a personal matter and only requires community involvement in cases of abuse. Exposing children to different cultures is much different then child rearing and ultimately the legal guardian is responsible for the child’s behavior so a community should not be exposing a child to behaviours that will create a liability for the parent.
Getting back to a parent always being right and viewing it from a Christian perspective, this thought process mainly comes from the following verse.
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Exodus 20:12, KJV
Parents should be honored and treated with respect. But what happens when you have an abusive parent whether physically, sexually, psychologically, or emotionally?
When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.
Psalm 27:10, KJV
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.
Psalm 27:10, New Living Translation
First and foremost, the above verse demonstrates that God will not forsake you. If you’re in a home with abusive parents consider your home as the Valley of Shadow of Death and read Psalms 23 daily.
Focus on school, work, ROP, extra curricular activities and anything that will keep you out of the home for as long as possible without causing an argument. These things should make it easier for you to leave quickly when you turn 18 or if you decide to get emancipated. Focus on building good habits for success and independence and set a goal of leaving the home legally as soon as possible.
It should go without saying to stay away from drugs, alcohol, gangs, crime, prostitution and anything else that will give your parents cause to call the police or a social worker on you. If they do call for an absurd reason, show the authorities your schedule and let them know your just trying to get ahead in life and your legal guardians have a personal issue with you. Most importantly, stay calm. Do not scream, shout, or talk back in these instances.
None of the above things should bring dishonor to your parents and in the rare case you feel that they do, remember honoring God is more important than honoring another human. This is especially true in a Christian home.
So what does the Bible say about abusive parents? Parents shouldn’t even offend a child and modern psychology backs this up. Studies have shown that children raised in a loving home with boundaries and discipline are less likely to throw tantrums when they don’t get their way. Spare the rod, spoil the child has actually been shown to have some truth behind it but that is a topic for another post.
In regards to abusive parents and the Bible, the Bible says your parent should essentially put an anchor around their neck and get pushed off a cliff into the ocean. Let’s all remember that abuse is indeed offensive to those being abused.
It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2, KJV
A related verse:
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven
Matthew 19:14, KJV
but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 19:14, English Standard Version
The above verses are in red, so spoken by Jesus. If a parent’s abuse causes a child to be so angry at God that they turn to paganism, atheism, heathenism, or any other non Christian thinking because of the abuse then it appears Luke 17:2 applies to the parents as an admonition from Christ.
Paul puts it a little more mildly in the book of Ephesians and just tells parents not to exasperate or anger their Children.
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4, KJV
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4, English Standard Version
Abuse can definitely cause anger, anger that can be misdirected at random people that have never done anything to deserve that negative release of energy upon them. Based on the following verse, a parents abuse can lead to a child facing judgment instead of everlasting life.
That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
Matthew 5:22, KJV
The Apostle Paul clarifies why there is a danger of judgment instead of a definite punishment.
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
1 John 3:15, KJV
Anger at being in an abusive situation can definitely turn towards hatred not only towards the abuser but also to everyone in the community who didn’t help. There are too many instances on the news of mass shootings to pick one example but an internet search will reveal the psychology behind a violent outlash is usually the result of bullying or abuse.
The good news is Psalms 27:10 says the Lord will take those up forsaken by their parents. Whether this means a soulless body will remain is a question more appropriate for the Pope or a Council of Bishops.
If you are in an abusive situation, know that this is not an problem for the majority of Christian households. Most Christians are sincere and go to church for community involvement, spiritual enlightenment, and to help the orphans and widows, or those in need as Jesus commanded.
Being in a tough situation with abusive parents may make it difficult to follow God and ultimately it is your free will to decide if you will leave the Christian faith. If you do remain in the faith, it is important to honor you parents and forgive them for their abuse.
Forgiveness does not mean that you allow the abuse to continue. Forgiveness means releasing all anger, sadness, resentments, and desires for revenge and allowing peace to enter your heart.
Self defense or asking authorities for help is not revenge. Taking yourself out of an abusive situation or stopping the abuse when it occurs is perfectly honorable. God wants you to defend your temple.
Hopefully this helps somebody. Don’t forget to pray and keep searching for the path that leads to spiritual peace.