Parents Over Shoulder

Josh WannerDevotions

Parents. There was a time that I would roll my eyes at this word. That was before I was a parent. And now being a parent, my perspective has changed!

When I was a teen, AOL Instant Messenger (or AIM) was a big deal. It was the way we talked with new and different people all the time. It’s become the norm in all our typed communications to just use LOL, RFLOL, TTYL, BRB.

And when mom and dad were in the room, POS didn’t mean “Point of Sale.” It meant “Parent Over Shoulder.” This was a quick way to tell the friend you’re chatting with that what you are talking about is being viewed, so be careful with what you say next.

I lived with my parents for before going to college. My parents were very understanding that as a young adult, I was starting a life of my own. The rule was: Out late? Call home and leave a message about changes in location. It was a courtesy to my parents. As long as the car was in the driveway when my dad woke up.

One morning, my dad noticed the car wasn’t there. But I did what I needed to do. I called home and asked my brother to leave a message for me. I was with Mike and Adam watching five movies. My brother wrote, “Andrew is at Adam’s watching A movie” (emphasis added).

I tried to explain to my dad that at 10 PM, I figured the five movies would be done around 8 AM. But since I didn’t say I was spending the night, specifically, I had a curfew. I had to obey this new rule. Even though I thought it unfair.

The Bible teaches that we learn to respect authority through honoring our father and mothers. Paul even addresses this in the fifth and sixth chapters of Ephesians. Talking about the Fourth Commandment, Martin Luther had this understanding that from learning to honor and respect your parents, you would learn to honor and respect all authority (see:

God works through His creation. All of the structure of society and government is established by God Himself. Even though we have opportunity to air our grievances and elect our governing officials, God has put them in place. It is in our best interest to honor and obey even our elected officials. Even if it seems unfair, like not eating the forbidden fruit. Or getting a curfew when you’re 20. Or wearing a mask to Walmart.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3

Written by: Pastor Bartholomew