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Getting Your Family To Accept Your Career

Dealing with parental disappointment because of your career is a struggle for many. A young creative asks what to do when parents don’t approve of your career.


Getting Your Family To Accept Your Career

[Show open]

Brother Donald Pinnock: Hello, everyone, and thank you so very, very much for joining us on this episode of The Solution. I am brother Donald Pinnock, a minister of the gospel in the Church Of Christ. You know, we have a very unique episode for you today.

We’re going to hear from someone who wishes to stay anonymous. And in fact, he has asked us to call him, Matt. Matt sent us a message asking for advice on what to do when parents don’t approve of your career path. Let’s take a look. 

Matt: I’ve always had a great relationship with my parents since I was young. I’ve always been able to communicate with them. But right now, that’s not the case. Growing up, the only thing my parents really wanted for me was to finish school and find a suitable job, a career that would support me in becoming an independent adult. I wasn’t the best in math or science growing up. And as much as I tried to pursue the option of having a career in the medical field, I could never wrap my head around these complicated math and science questions we had to solve every week in high school. But when I was given my DSLR, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the arts. So that’s what I did. Right now, I do freelance media work focusing on videography, editing and event photography. What I love most about it is being able to tell and create stories in a creative and unique way.

There are so many stories and faces that you can capture. And I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of it. My parents don’t agree with my career path. They’re worried that I won’t be able to make enough to support myself or my future family.

How can I manage when I have children? Where would my benefits come from and how would I be able to save up for my future or my retirement? I don’t think they fully understand that there’s actually a need in this field of work, and that you can actually find success in this line of work.

This lack of understanding has put a strain on a relationship. Sometimes it makes me uncomfortable when all they want to do is attach an amount of money to my success. If I’m not earning X amount, then I’m not successful.

I even feel like I can’t tell them how work is going, or when I have exciting news that I want to share with them about my job. I’m afraid they wouldn’t be as excited as I am. And because of that, a part of me feels like I shouldn’t update them with how things are going.

I know I shouldn’t be afraid of letting them know. But there’s also a part of me that’s afraid of continuously getting shut down. I hope that one day my parents understand that this field is where I excel, and that I can also have success and growth in the arts. That success is more than a paycheck. 

Brother Donald, I want to be able to have better communication with my parents. Is there something that I can do to help my parents understand my job? How can I get my parents to understand that there’s more to finding a career than just the paycheck? How do I express to them that this is where I find absolute joy in my life? 

Brother Donald: You know, Matt, how children approach their parents is critical in their effort to express what’s on their mind and also what’s in their heart.

So we have to make sure that we adhere to the following Bible teaching written in Ephesians, the chapter is six, and the verses are two to three: 

“Respect your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise added: “so that all may go well with you, and you may live a long time in the land.”

[Ephesians 6:2-3, Good News Translation]

Brother Donald: So we should see, dear viewers, and of course, Matt, that we should be very, very respectful when we have a discussion with our parents and even when we are responding to their questioning and their giving of admonitions.

A son or daughter should refrain from raising their voice or shouting or answering their parents rudely, because, of course, this will never help in solving issues, but rather just compound them. We should also understand that our parents may be anxious about what the future holds for us if we are going to take that career path.

They may worry, for example, about our well-being. Will we be able to support ourselves? Will we be able to, for example, look after a family? But their worries and fears may sound hostile when our conversations become overheated.

Their opposition to our career choices can feel less hostile, Matt, when we understand that what they are concerned about is our future, and out of their endearing love for us, their children. So we should hear our parents out.

We should do our very best to understand where our parents are coming from when it comes to their advice and even when it comes to their hesitations concerning our career choice. Only then can we respond to them in a manner that would prevent the discussion escalating into an argument.

So how can we accomplish such a goal? Let’s find out by reading here in Ephesians, the chapter is four and the verse is 29. And this is written:

“Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.” 

[Ephesians 4:29, Good News Translation]

Brother Donald: According to the Holy Bible then, we should be very careful when it comes to even our choice of words, especially when we are speaking to our mother and/or father. When we are talking about, for example, our career choice with our parents, we should strive to express our feelings in a manner that will not cause the conversation to escalate into a shouting match. So this is the reason why it would be best to conduct what is called a devotional prayer and ask for the guidance of the Almighty God before we approach our parents to discuss such matters. 

For us, members of the Church Of Christ, according to the Bible, we are recognized as God’s people. And because of this, we can be confident that when we put our wholehearted hope and trust in God, and seek His will and guidance in everything that we do, including our career choices, that our Father in heaven will not disappoint us. We can expect that God will guide us to have a career that, first and foremost, is in accordance with His holy will, and also is beneficial for us and our future.

In fact, the Holy Scriptures gives us this assurance here in Proverbs, the chapter is 3, and the verses are 5 to 6: 

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.'”

[Proverbs 3: 5-6, New Living Translation]

So, dear viewers, Matt, if you or any others watching this episode are not yet members of the Church Of Christ, we also earnestly pray that eventually you can take part in God’s plans and promises. This is the very reason why we invite you to learn more about the Church Of Christ and find out how God can bless your future with success and the peace that you are seeking, inner peace as well as peace when it comes to those around us. 

Thank you for joining us in our episode today. And as always, we continue to invite all of you–contact us with your queries, your problems, your challenges, your issues, and through God’s teachings written in the Holy Bible, let us come to the Solution together. Dear friends, stay safe. Stay positive. Stay prayerful.


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Getting Your Family To Accept Your Career