They say, “Home is where the heart is.” But for me, home is where the fights are.

I remember how much I hated going back home. I hated class dismissals, semestral breaks, and summer vacations. I even remember staying in school until late hours as an excuse to not come home. Some would even say I’m lucky because I have everything that a teenager needs – my parents are together, we have a home, we eat three meals a day, and enjoy dining out frequently. But I knew deep down, I was not okay.  I was a teenage rebel, and recall so many instances when I would curse my parents in my thoughts each time they call my attention – even and especially with petty things. I knew they were my authority but I didn’t understand nor comprehend what it meant to submit to them. I knew that they had to rebuke me but didn’t understand that it was because of love.

When I was a freshman in College I got invited to a youth service. I attended one service, but swore never to come back! But that perception changed all because of a friend’s persistent invitation to Breakfast or Lunch fellowships, encouraging text messages that I didn’t understand back then, and church friends whom she introduced  me to. Before I knew it, I had so many friends at church! It led me to attend their youth service once again.

After some time, I went to a weekend retreat that helped me understand that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Through Exodus 20:12, God revealed to me how much I dishonor God when I dishonor my parents. In the 10 Commandments, it is the first and only one with a promise: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord Your God is giving you.”

God has slowly worked in me and replaced my pride with humility, especially in times of correction and discipline. Though my parents still restrain me, even over petty things, it is by God’s grace that I choose to be silent.  Instead of answering back, my heart would choose to honor them and respect their decisions. If I honor my parents, I also honor God. He has taught me the importance of recognizing and submitting to authority, through Romans 13:1-7. Submitting not just to my parents, but also to authorities, is a way of honoring God.

God’s grace and forgiveness of my sins shouldn’t be an excuse to rebel, but it should be a reason for me to submit and obey to Him.