“We should fear and love God that we may not despise nor anger our parents and masters, but give them honor, serve, obey, and hold them in love and esteem.” (SC – The Fourth Commandment)
I have long grappled with this. I don’t know how to honour my parents. Without going into explicit details, I have no contact with either one of my parents. It’s not because I’m a bad daughter, but I was professionally and legally advised to sever ties. I was not honured by them, instead, I was badly hurt by them. And so, I’ve been trying to figuring out what honoring and obeying them looks like. I understand that it can’t be the traditional view of looking at honouring them, because it’s not feasible for me to have contact nor a relationship. But what does honouring them look like? I still love them for I don’t hate them, despite the wrong they did. I still protect them the best I can, and try to respect them. I also know that the Bible says this in a couple places:
And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Eph 6:4, KJV)
Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart. (Col 3:21, NASB)
It’s frustrating, because I’m trying to find the balance. What do I do? Do I still honour God by not associating with my parents? What does that look like? I long to honour and respect my parents, for I know it’s a commandment. But my physical safety has to be secure, my emotional health deserves to thrive. And finding the balance is beyond difficult.
(Sorta unrelated, but this is bringing to mind the Harry Chapin song “Cat’s In The Cradle” And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me, he’d grown up just like me. My boy was just like me. And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy blue and the man in the moon, when you coming home, son, I don’t know when, but you know we’ll have a good time then, yeah, you know we’ll have a good time then. It reminds me of how parents treat their children turns out to be how they treat them when they get older. And how do I find the balance between honouring God and keeping myself sane? I think this is the one thing, hands down, that is my biggest struggle with Christianity).
So will we verily, on our part, also heartily forgive and also readily do good to those who sin against us. (SC, The Lord’s Prayer, The Fifth Petition)
This, I think, ties in well with my struggles with my parents, yes. I realize that I need to forgive them, and have started the process of forgiving them. To do good with them, I know I need to honour them. It all comes full circle.
Heh. The more I go through these blog posts, the more I realize my beefs with Christianity. And, of the same accord, the more I want to fix them and use my story of brokenness to bring people back to Him.