MADELEINE WRITES: I love my parents so much, and I acknowledge that God has put them in my life for a reason. I know I’m supposed to honor them and obey them, and by doing that I’m honoring my Father in heaven. But I find myself doing the opposite by talking back and being sarcastic and mean.
My mom and I haven’t had the greatest relationship as I’ve grown up. We just got to a good place, but I feel that slipping away! My dad and I aren’t all that close either. I don’t want this to be my reality anymore, but I don’t know what to do! How can I honor God by honoring my parents?
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Your question begs a deeper one. Why are your parents not close, and why do you find yourself being sarcastic and disrespectful?
*squints at screen* Steelers Fan…wait a minute. WAIT A MINUTE!! YOU’RE BAAAAAAAACK!!!!! =D *follows* How’ve you been? We’ve missed you! =)
Thanks! I’ve been OK I guess 🙂 And I think you changed your username weren’t you Josh or something?
Ohhhhhhh yeah, sorry about that! Yes I’m Josh A. =)
no way, i’m a Josh A. as well.
No way, really? That’s so cool! You don’t live in Georgia, do you? 😛
Nah, Oklahoma for fifteen years and now Tennessee as of this past February.
Haha ok! =)
Girly you’re not the only one. In fact i dont have any advice (atleast I’ll get notifications for new comments) because I got in big trouble yesterday for not listening to my mom and I am grounded now :/ Anyways excited to hear the rest of the answers!
Respect is a huge part of honoring your parents. I know for my parents I have a huge amount of respect(and sometimes awe) for them, even if I sometimes fail to honor them. However, for a really good relationship, respect has to go both ways. Obviously their respect for you won’t be quite the same as yours for them, but one of the results of honoring your parents in a godly way is that they have respect for you.
A question to ask yourself might be: Why do I not have a good relationship with my parents? Is it because you argue, you disagree with their decisions, you find them annoying, you feel like they ask too much of you, etc. Once you’ve answered that question, look for things that you can work on consistently. Another huge part of having a good relationship with your parents is just spending time with them. In my family we play cards, are constantly around each other in the evenings(and the day, cause I’m homeschooled) talk about our day, etc. Being able to share space with someone peacefully shows a lot about how strong your relationship is.
God really cares about the relationships of parents and children- he devoted an entire commandment to it, the basis of the entire Jewish law. Most of Proverbs is a parent giving wisdom and advice to his son. And the entire Bible is God speaking to his children. God wants that relationship of respect and trust between parents and children. Pray about what you can actively do, and find joy in being a daughter that honors her parents.
Okay, that was way longer than I meant for it to be.
Lol, I know that feeling. =)
But it was a good long comment. 😛
Two things for ya: =)
First, know that under the Mosaic law, unrepentantly disobeying parents was a capital crime. In the New Testament, people who disobey parents are listed on par with “gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, [and] inventors of evil.” The sin is listed as on par with “envy, murder, strife, deceit, [and] maliciousness”. Disobeying parents is not something to be trifled with – God puts it on par with murder! So my point is, sometimes it helps to remember how serious God takes a sin.
But the second thing starts with a story. I’m a soccer goalkeeper, and I was hanging out with a college goalkeeper who goes to my church. I was asking him how to improve my handling (catching the ball). In answer to my question, he said…”Um. Catch it.” Honestly sometimes as a Christian you just gotta do things. Like the question “how can I read my Bible more regularly”? Go with the goalie answer: “Um, read it!” How can I honor my parents? “Um, obey them!”
Hope this helps! =)
Good point. We so tend to overcomplicate things. It’s generally pretty simple at the heart of it.
Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with amazing parents whom I’m very close with, but I definitely understand the struggle of being really sarcastic, snarky, and just plain nasty to them (exhibit “A” right here!). I may have some helpful advice:
First of all, when you disobey or are disrespectful, don’t only apologize to God, but go to your parents and apologize to them for being rude and disrespectful. This shows submissiveness and respect for your parents. I heard a sermon a few day ago on the tenth commandment “thou shalt not covet”, and one of the pastor’s main points was that when children disobey their parents, they are coveting the parents’ position of authority. So when we disobey, we break not only the fifth commandment, but the last as well! A repentant heart is a respectful heart, and I believe that your parents will feel honored by repentance when you mess up.
Also, taking initiative with housework and such is a great way to honor your parents (and something else I greatly struggle with). So there’s some food for thought:) I’ll be praying for your relationship with your parents!
A little while ago I was thinking of specific ways to honor my parents. I thought of three ways, and wrote a blog post about it, which I’ll summarize here:
1. Be completely honest with your parents.
Hiding things from parents will hinder you from honoring your parents; it will also probably make it hard to keep a close relationship with them. How many people care for you, feed you, give you honest feedback, and cloth you for about two decades? Not many. Perhaps you think you’ll be open with your spouse someday, but if you’re not open with your parents do you really think that will be the case?
2. Honor your parents in your conversations with them.
We probably think about this when we think of honoring parents. The Bible has a lot to say about communication. Watch your words; watch your body language. If you have a disagreement, ask how you can bring honor to God in the situation. Make sure you tell them the truth (don’t hide things) but do so in a spirit of humility, realizing that they’re your parent and that you might be wrong. Ask them to explain themselves. How many times in Proverbs does Solomon write: “My son, listen…” Have open communication.
3. Honor them behind their backs.
Sometimes things about your parents will nag you and it will seem so natural to vent your feelings to someone else. It is in these times we must resist the temptation to dishonor our parents. Venting about others usually just brings more problems. If you don’t have something good to say, don’t say anything at all. If your parents were to hear everything you said about them for the next 24 hours how do you think it would change what you say?
What if you think your parents don’t deserve your honor? First, the command to honor doesn’t have conditions attached to it. Second, everyone does sin, and your parents are responsible to God for how they act, but you are responsible to God to honor them. Third, God gives instructions on how to deal with conflicts. If a conflict cannot be covered in love or resolved easily, Matthew 18 gives specific instructions that we should follow. Remember that two wrongs don’t make a right. In other words, look for your own faults first.
I’m not exactly sure if this answers the question (I really like Guitar with Arms’ answer to just “do it”) but I hope this helps! (Sorry for the length.)
Hi! Here are some suggestions that I hope will be a help to you.
The best advice ever is to pray about it. Just trust in the Lord to help you and He will. Believe me, I have to admit that I also get pretty angry at my parents at times, but I trust in the Lord, and He has helped me. Sadly, there are a lot of times that I don’t trust the Lord as I should, and therefore, I fail. Seriously though, the Lord will always help those that call on Him. Also, read the Bible. God’s Word always can give help and courage to do what is right. These are the best ways to honor your parents, but another way is to help them with anything. I just thought of this, so I haven’t tried it yet, but I will try. Simply ask if you can help in anything, and, if your parents do have something for you to do, then do it. Continually helping them through different tasks or jobs will build a parent-to-daughter/son friendship. It will be easier to honor them then.
Even Paul said “I find a war waging in my flesh, the thing I want to do I do not do, and the thing I do is the very thing I hate. Indeed the mind is willing but flesh is weak.” Who can’t relate to that?! So first, know it isn’t weird to be tempted. You’re not some especially awful person. But do remember that sin is sin. For every thought and word against our parents we deserve thousands of years of endless punishment. I can’t understand the weight of my sin, and I’m sure it’s the same for you. Here’s the good news, in Jesus we ate free from it. He took the punishment and we can rest in what He’s done. Trust him, he’s able to kill your sin and the slavery that comes with it.
I think honouring your parents in the Lord involves attitude as much as action. Try to always remember that your parents are put in authority by God, whether they’re right or wrong (hint: they’re usually right!).
I like the Guitar with Arms’ goalie answer: sometimes the only solution left is to just do it!
Keep working at your relationships with them.
It sounds like you know what’s right and why, but are just struggling to do it. As Okie Gal said, temptation is normal. 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” If no temptation is too great to bear, we have no excuse for sinning!
Perhaps if you keep in mind the long term blessings of obeying (see Ephesians 6:3, and of course the beautiful relationship you’ll build), or memorize a verse about honouring your parents it would help you to remember.
Hope this helps!
Hey guys, been reading for a while and I finally decided to start contributing.
Biggest thing ever: Submission, not merely conformity. If you have your own ideas but are “obeying” your parents to avoid confrontation/clashing with them, or perhaps going a step further and obeying as far as they can tell and going behind their back, that’s a big problem.
Obedience to parents shouldn’t merely be doing what they tell you to do, but honoring and respecting them as your God-given authorities.
Hey, there everyone! I’ve read the comments below and I must agree on many of your points.
Madeleine, you are NOT the only one with this struggle! There have been many before you, with you, and will be more after you that have gone through this and dealt with it. You have to first know that we are all fallen creatures, but we are also all learning.
If you feel that anything is amiss, bring your troubles to God. No matter how petty they may seem to you, they are HUGE to the Lord, because he wants you to run to Him with problems big or small. 🙂
And, maybe, God is using this “hiccup” in your life to draw you closer to Him! <3
Also, I'm a sucker for sarcasm. It just comes out, and I totally understand your struggle! My parents don't really like when I'm sarcastic with them(or any adults for that matter), so I'll make it a point to avoid any sarcasm, fun or mean.
While I'm talking to my parents, I don't have to think, "Okay, Jazzy… let's not be sarcastic, bossy, mean, harsh, snappy, or rude with Mom/Dad."
When dealing with your parents, you should avoid the "bad" things, yes, but think about this way: how can I [bless] my parents? How can I minister to them? Be a servant to them? Show kindness and love towards them?
I hope this bless you, God bless!
on a unhappy note proverbs 30:17 says; The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures. on a happier note Exodus 20:12 says; Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
one way to obey your parents is to grow closer to them, tell them whats is going on in your life, if there are things that you don’t want to tell them ,get rid of them.