As one who is courting in college, to what extent does my parents' authority extend?
I think it’s an interesting age, obviously, because I am very much involved with college students. They’re in the transition moment and, as we look at it, this is not the last time with an adolescent. This is really the first time with an adult. So there is a sense in which, as college students, as adults, they need to think through decisions, be responsible, and have parameters in their lives. But God has given us this institution of parents.
We have these categories culturally of adolescence and young adulthood, and there is this sort of cultural pressure, this cultural feeling that “At eighteen, I’m free, and I’m free to make my own decisions and my parents really don’t have a role in my life.” I think we could push back on that and recognize that, really, until either we go or our parents go, we have an obligation to honor them and an obligation to listen to them.
And as they are godly and trying to be biblically faithful, they’re not there as a blockade for us; but they’re there as a guide for us and as a God-given aid to help us as we navigate our way.
Lightly edited for readability, this is a transcript of Stephen Nichols’ answer given at our 2017 National Conference. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.