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Honor Thy Mother and Father: someone explain

Discussion in 'Golden Eagles 50+' started by Jack871, May 26, 2019.

  1. Jack871

    Jack871 New Member

    United States
    I've had this question for quite some time and it really bothers me. I don't understand.
    We are told to honor our mothers and fathers. Okay. However, I've met people whose mothers and fathers were absolute monsters. People have endured outrageous and unspeakable abuse at the hands of their mothers and fathers. Innocent children are treated in ways which I cannot describe here. Children are verbally abused, psychologically tortured, debased, physically and sexually abused and on and on. Personally, I left home with zero self-esteem and a lot of it was based on the way I was treated. I did not have it nearly as bad as some do but things were not great either. So can someone please explain this concept of honoring mother and father???? I ask especially for those who were severely abused and those are many. I know what the Bible says but I am just confused or I don't understand what the scriptures really intend on this subject. Can anyone help????
    Thank you.
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
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  2. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

    United States
    It means to give them appropriate, not inappropriate, honor. If a parent has abused you very badly and is unrepentant, you generally need to stay away from that parent. That level of abuse damages your perception of the image of God in you and is against the will of God. At some level it comes down to us not being willing to cooperate with something against God's will. And if your perception of the image of God in you has been damaged, it needs to be restored.

    Many of us had parents with both good and bad qualities. Sometimes it is necessary to get out from under the bad before you can see and appreciate the good. At that point you can honor your parents for the good they did, even if it might be that you do it from a distance, or even after they are gone.

    Only God gets unqualified honor and obedience. Man, even parents, does not.
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  3. AvgJoe

    AvgJoe Member since 2005 Supporter

    United States
    Question: "How do we honor an abusive parent?"

    It would be so much easier if God had asked only that we honor our parents if they are good, kind and loving to us, but the command of Exodus 20:12 is “Honor your father and mother,” period. Ephesians 6:1says to “obey” them. There are many hurt and damaged people who find these commands nearly impossible to obey. Should we honor and obey an abusive parent? Where do we draw the line?

    Abuse comes in many forms. A child can be brought up well clothed and fed with all his needs supplied except for the all-important need for love and approval. No physical harm is ever done to him, yet, as each year goes by, his spirit shrivels up inside him more and more, as a plant will shrivel without sunlight, desperate for the smallest demonstration of affection. Eventually, he grows to adulthood; everything seems to be normal, yet he is crippled inside by the indifference of his parents.

    Then again, a child's spirit may be broken at an early age—even though he suffers no physical abuse—by being constantly told that he is useless and a waste of space. Everything he attempts is sneered at until he gives up trying to do anything at all. Because very young children naturally believe what their parents say about them, the child who suffers this treatment will gradually withdraw into himself, retiring behind an invisible wall and simply existing rather than living. These children grow up never suffering physically at the hands of their parents but nevertheless crippled in their spirits. As grown-ups, they find it difficult to make friends and are unable to relate normally to other adults.

    So, child abuse can be subtle. There is, of course, the more obvious kind—when a child is neglected, kicked and beaten and, worse still, sexually abused. The damage such abuse causes can last a lifetime. Now for the big question: how do we obey God's commandment to honor parents who behave with such cruelty toward their own children?

    Those who have trusted Jesus as their savior have a real Heavenly Father who desires only our good and never to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11). He is “a father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5). The Lord will use everything, even horrible acts, for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). When we surrender our will to Him, we will see His work in our life. Trusting God may feel disconnected or impossible for those who have never known what it is to love and trust. Someone in this position need only take one small step toward God saying, “I want to learn to love and trust you—please help me.” Jesus is “meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29), and we can confidently go to Him and pour out our problems, knowing that He will hear and answer (1 John 5:14-15). It will not be long before any child of God willing to trust Him will begin to sense the Holy Spirit at work in his heart. God will take the heart that has been turned to stone by an abusive childhood and replace it with one of flesh and feeling (Ezekiel 36:26).

    The next step for someone who has been abused is to be willing to forgive. This, too, will seem to be utterly impossible, especially for those who have suffered the worst kinds of abuse. Bitterness can sink into their souls, weighing them down like iron, yet there is nothing the Holy Spirit cannot soften and cleanse. With God all things are possible (Mark 10:27). Our Lord understands our pain; He “was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God's power” (2 Corinthians 13:4).

    There is no need to fear being honest with God. If you find it difficult to forgive the wickedness of a parent’s behavior, talk to God about it. It is true that unforgiveness is sin, but only deliberate unforgiveness, where we have set our hearts like flint and vowed that never again will we even consider forgiveness for those who have hurt us so badly. A child of God going to his Father for help with something he cannot do for himself will find not an angry, threatening God waiting to punish him, but a Father with a heart full of overwhelming love, compassion, mercy and a desire to help.

    So, what does honoring an abusive parent look like in real life? Here are some practical tips: by the grace of God, be willing to forgive. A willingness to forgive honors both God and the parent. Pray for your abuser. Let go of expectations that your parent will ever be the parent you want him or her to be; replace your disappointment and sadness with acceptance of who the person is. Cultivate an attitude of compassion for the things your parent did right, and express gratitude for even slight efforts to show love. Refrain from making disparaging remarks about your parent. If it is safe to be in communication with your parent, establish wise boundaries to reduce sinful temptations for you and your parent.

    One thing forgiveness and honor are not, though, is a permanent submission to parental authority. The Bible commands honor but not remaining a prisoner in a dysfunctional family. Families with a destructive cycle of sin are dangerous, and children who break free need to find safety in the family of God—which is every Christian’s true family (Matthew 10:35–38). Dysfunctional families are fraught with codependence, addiction, violence, and an absence of safe boundaries. These traits will be like a millstone around the neck, dragging the child toward the same sinful patterns. Removing oneself from an abusive situation is much like overcoming addiction; when a person desires sobriety, he cannot associate with people who abuse drugs (Proverbs 13:20).

    Also, in cases in which the grandchildren are exposed to the threat of physical harm or sexual assault, it becomes the adult child’s responsibility to protect their own children. There is no guilt in keeping one’s distance from abusive parents, as long as the separation is not motivated by vengeance. You can honor your parents from afar. Sadly, some parents do not value their children enough to maintain a relationship. The void left by a broken relationship should be filled by Christ rather than pining for a parental relationship that will never be.

    By focusing on your own relationship with Christ, you can experience real healing. Without salvation there is no hope for anyone, but in Christ we are new creations able to do anything He calls us to do (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is also possible that the parent will repent; thus, a relationship could be formed based on Christ’s abundant love and grace. You could be the light that leads your unsaved or wayward parent to repentance and salvation (1 Corinthians 9:19).

    Just as Jesus loved us in our sinful state, we can honor an abusive parent. It means showing grace and compassion to those who don’t deserve it so that God is glorified and the obedient are blessed and rewarded (Matthew 5:44-48; 1 John 4:18-21). Remember, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

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  4. WherevertheWindblows

    WherevertheWindblows Well-Known Member

    United States
    Honouring ones father and mother is shown in two place in the NT

    Here is what the Pharisees did here

    Mark 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me,
    for doctrines the commandments of men.

    Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God,
    ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

    Mark 7:9 And he said unto them,
    Full well ye reject the commandment of God,
    that ye may keep your own tradition.

    Then Christ gives an example,

    Mark 7:10 For Moses said,
    Honour thy father and thy mother;
    and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

    But they said something contrary

    Mark 7:11 But ye say,
    If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban,
    that is to say, a gift,
    by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.

    Mark 7:12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;

    Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition,
    which ye have delivered
    : and many such like things do ye.

    Paul says,

    Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

    And he also quotes the same commandment Jesus does in this context

    Ephesians 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise)

    Which is what?

    Ephesians 6:3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

    In this context its also about a provision (if one is needed). In this case if there is a parent who becomes a widow (for example) and they had children (even nephews) they were to requite their parents

    1Ti 5:4 But if any widow have children or nephews,
    let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents:
    for that is good and acceptable before God.

    Contrasting this with Mark 7:12 (in the first part) where their tradition was making void the word of God (in the context of honoring of ones parents) where he says they (who were teaching them) full well rejected the commandment of God to keep their own traditions suffering those who looked to them for what to do not to do ought for his father or his mother.

    Whereas in Paul's teaching there in
    1 Ti 5:4 continues, and in verse 8 saying,

    1 Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house,
    he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

    So such has denied the faith in not doing this. And since even sinners love their own, when one (who professes the faith) does not requite their parents, providing for their own he says they have denied the faith. In this thing denying the faith and are considered worse than an infidel in rejecting to do this.

    There is a similar comparison between what Paul (who was a former Pharisee) might have taught (which Jesus rebukes) in respects to that commandment (and their vain traditions) and providing for ones own house as Paul speaks of the same command in that context.
  5. Jack871

    Jack871 New Member

    United States
  6. AvgJoe

    AvgJoe Member since 2005 Supporter

    United States
    You're welcome, but I can only take credit for sharing it, I did not write it. It was written by the Got Questions website and that's the purpose for the link at the end of the article, linking back to the page from which it came. I hope it was helpful to you, as that was my reason for sharing it.