I learned and believed in honoring your parents. Two examples found in the Bible that I have read as well as heard preached and repeated by others over and over:
Exodus 20:12 – “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (on of the 10 commandments) and Ephesians 6: 1 – 3 –“ 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
When children grow up in a less than healthy home, where the parents aren’t invested in their children, abuse them, ignore their needs or just take off and chose not to be a parent in my opinion are not honorable parents. Becoming a parent is a gift from God and one that should not be taken lightly.
My wife and I grew up in homes where our parents were less than honorable parents in raising us. Looking back there are clear signs something was not quite right with us growing up. Both my wife and I were physically and sexually abused and our actions were bells and whistles something serious was happening. Unfortunately for us those were never questioned or looked at closely by our parents.
As we grew up, got married and started our own family things have not gotten better over the years. In our attempt to address those issues with our parents it has never gone well. My wife has gotten a few apologies from her mom, but all I have gotten is “I can’t change the past” and “I did the best I could”. Our Dad’s really have chosen to not address the issues and just turn a deaf ear to them.
In trying to have a relationship with our parents as adults with our own children it’s been more of our parents having difficulty letting go and attempting to run our lives. Neither of our parents wants to engage in a relationship where we could actually be friends. It has put my wife and I both in the place of not wanting to be around our parents. We have chosen to focus on our relationships with our friends, church and neighbors than exhaust our energies into these unhealthy relationships.
Our children have watched the unhealthy dynamics play out in our families when we have been around our parents. It has upset them and produced countless questions of why are things the way they are and we have had to explain over and over why our parents act the way they do. It came to a head for me where I could not get anywhere with my parents and cut ties with them. My wife is not at that place with her parents and I don’t know that she has the strength to do what I did.
We have been extremely purposeful in how we parent our children so those things do not occur with our children. We want our children to be friends with us when they are older. I understand it’s not easy to let go, but they need to spread their own wings and live their own lives. If they want our advice I am happy to give it, but I am not going to tell my grown child how to live their life. We have a very open relationship with our children, they can come to us and talk to us about anything at any time and we try to solicit feedback as much as possible so if there is issues we can talk through them. It would crush me as a parent if my kids never wanted to have anything to do with me. That would be more than I think I am capable of dealing with. We have struggled as adults to really understand the depth and fullness of the verses of how you honor your parents when their words and actions aren’t honoring, respectful or loving. How do you honor parents who don’t really deserve it?