My wife and I have been married almost five years, but my mother is constantly giving us advice and interfering in our lives. I tried to say something to her once, but she claimed the Bible says children ought to obey their parents, and that ended our discussion. Is she right? — J.H.
The Bible does teach that children should be obedient to their parents, for if they aren't, they may well grow up to be irresponsible and undisciplined. The Bible says, "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord" (Colossians 3:20).
But this verse doesn't apply to children who have grown up and gotten married. Then they are no longer children; they have become adults and no longer are under the authority of their parents. Now, you and your wife have formed your own family and are responsible to each other—and to God. Jesus said (quoting the Old Testament) that when a man marries, he is to "leave his father and mother and be united to his wife" (Matthew 19:5).
Have you ever asked yourself why your mother feels the need to try to control your lives? Perhaps she lacks confidence in you and is afraid you'll make a mistake; perhaps she sincerely wants to help you. Or she may be afraid you'll become too wrapped up in your own lives and will forget about her.
Whatever her reasons, assure her of your love and respect. The Bible says, "Honor your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:12). At the same time, take her aside and tell her you hope she can learn to give advice only when asked. It won't be easy, but you need to take this step.