A few weeks ago we talked about how God can use you to have an affect on your parents lives. So often when you don't agree with your parents, with their lifestyle, beliefs, or how they treat you (rightly or wrongly), you will generally respond by doing one of two things; Fight or Flight. These can be good, God-given responses when you handle them the right way, but most of the time you find yourself fighting with your parents when you don't get what you want or fleeing from their presence just to avoid the situation. James 4:1-3 shares that when you handle these types of situations that way, the root of your actions is selfishness. Your goal is not to be a loving healer or a loving helper to your parents, or quite frankly to yourself. Your goal, if you are honest, is to get what you want out of the situation, what you think is best in that moment. You might think something like this; "I don't want to deal with this so I am going to end it now." Then you end it by running or arguing. Again, selfishness.
So here is the first question in dealing with this... Who is God?
That might sound like a weird question to start with, but think about it. If God is God, and he is really in control, then he might have a reason for you to go through a situation where you don't agree with your parents, with their lifestyle, beliefs, or with how they treat you (rightly or wrongly). Romans 8:28 says this:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+8&version=NIV)
If this verse is true, then God is using this situation for your benefit. That means you don't have to just fight, or flee, but you can trust that God has you in this situation for your good, for you to learn something, for you to grow, for you to accomplish something you might feel is impossible (like God using you to help your parents know Him).
In times where you disagree with your parents, don't immediately think to fight them or just to get out of the situation as fast as you can, but ask yourself; "God, what do you want me to learn from this? How can I show your love to them through this?" You might be surprised at what God will do with your walk with Him, let alone your parents walk with Him.
In Part 2, we will talk about the next question that will help you to have an influence over your parents walk with God... Who Am I?
Author's Note: In cases where there is abusive behavior, remove yourself from the situation and share what is happening with another trustworthy adult. If a parent is abusing you, the most loving act you can do is to help them stop. You can't necessarily make them stop, but doing nothing will continue to enable their behavior.