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Now that our son is past eighteen, should he still obey us?The Bible says that children should "obey" and "submit to" their parents (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians ), but he says that because he's an adult, this commandment no longer applies to him. At what point does an adult child become fully independent of his parents' control?You need to be able to say, “As you approach adulthood, here’s what changes and here’s what stays the same.” Above all, resist the temptation to manipulate or control.You’re free to make as many rules as you like, but make sure they are reasonable and deal with significant issues.The precise line of demarcation differs from society to society, and obviously an individual’s level of maturity plays an important role in this journey.But the basic idea remains the same, and in every case the principle involved is fundamentally biblical (see 1 Corinthians ).Dating may also involve two or more people who have already decided that they share romantic or sexual feelings toward each other.These people will have dates on a regular basis, and they may or may not be having sexual relations.
If your child is still living at home, it’s particularly important to spell things out as clearly as possible.
On the other hand, we want to qualify this last point by reminding you that “honor” does not necessarily imply that an adult child must do whatever his parents want him to do.
For instance, a parent may wish that an adult child would accept every piece of advice the parent offers – plainly an unrealistic desire.
Does this mean that he has the prerogative to adopt a dismissive attitude toward you or to disparage your values and opinions? As Christians, we know that there is as his parents but as fellow human beings and as his brother and sister in Christ (Ephesians ; Philippians 2:3; I Peter 5:5).
That’s not to mention that there is no time- or age-limit attached to the biblical command to one’s parents; as Paul writes (quoting Exodus ), “‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with a promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth'” (Ephesians 6:2).