Summary: How is the Christian to relate to his adult children and when does emancipation occur?

November 14 2001

Central Christian Church

St Petersburg, Fl

At what point does the parenting relationship change?

Is it when your child turns 18? Is it when they move out of your home? Is it when they marry? Is it after you have finished paying for college and they start their career?

Some things are certain and clear while this parenting relationship is not as clear, one thing for certain is that before your children are emancipated they are under your control and jurisdiction.

While you are raising your children they are to submit to your authority, be responsible, respectful and fun to be with.

As a matter of fact one of the 10 commandments reads: Exo 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.

-Proverbs 23:22-Tells you to listen to your father and not to despise your mother!

-Mark 7:10-Jesus reminds the people that the penalty for a child that cursed their mother & father use to be death!

we see that in Lev 20:9 ’If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother, his bloodguiltiness is upon him. Deu. 21:18-21.

And we know also that parents have a responsibility to raise up Godly children. Children who are responsible, respectful and fun to be with!

Keeping in mind I hope that what we sow- so shall we reap.

If we do not train our children to be responsible by imposing consequences for their inappropriate actions and behaviors- the parenting process will take a whole lot longer or it might not ever happen at all.

The cost to the child as they try to transition into adulthood will be high!

In that case we will be stuck with an adult child who never learned how to become a respectful, responsible adult and our relationship with them can never advance to the next more enjoyable and satisfying level.

From Moses we get these words:

Deu 6:4 "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!

Deu 6:5 "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Deu 6:6 "And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart;

Deu 6:7 and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Deu 6:8 "And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

Deu 6:9 "And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

But the question tonight is when does the relationship between parent and child change and how should it change?

If the child has learned from their parents, by their example, as well as by their training which I call consequences with empathy. (explain) The transition should be smooth without a high cost to the young adult child.

But when does it occur, well I believe I can make a case from the OT as well as from the NT, that for the unmarried virgin daughter, that does not occur until she is married. She basically goes from her father’s protection to her husband’s protection.

You can see that throughout the OT as well as in the NT, Look at:

1 Cor 7:35 And this I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly, and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

1 Cor 7:36 But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she should be of full age, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry.

1 Cor 7:37 But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no constraint, but has authority over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin daughter, he will do well.

1 Cor 7:38 So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.

Scripture is clear when this daughter or son does marry

We know our relationship definitely changes.


They are to leave and cleave, becoming one flesh. Jesus said: Mat 19:5 and said, ’FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’?

Mat 19:6 "Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

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