How Can You Honor Parents When You Feel They Don't Deserve It? (2022)

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How Can You Honor Parents When You Feel They Don't Deserve It? (1)

Honoring Your Parents

Sabrina Beasley McDonald

·8 min read

Every Father’s Day I attend church with my parents. During these services, the pastor always asks if anyone would like to stand and pay tribute to his or her father. One by one, people share their memories, and each year without fail, a frail little woman, looking weary from a hard life, stands.

Everyone patiently watches as she rises slowly and confesses in a tired trembling voice, “My daddy was a drinking man. He wasn’t there much, but when he wasn’t drinking, he was a good man … I loved my daddy.” The tears well up in her eyes as she makes her way back down to the pew.She never says much; there isn’t much to say. But she faithfully and sincerely obeys the fifth commandment … even if her father didn’t deserve it.Like this woman, you may have been abandoned or abused. Maybe you were verbally assaulted and forced to fearfully run and hide. Or perhaps there is a history of bitterness and grudges between you and a parent. In any case, when you hear the phrase “honor your parents,” your stomach turns just thinking about paying tribute to someone who has treated you with such contempt.It’s not easy to honor someone who has hurt you so deeply. The natural tendency is to repay evil for evil and seek retribution.

(Video) How to Love Your Difficult Parents

Love for a hurtful parent

But the apostle Peter tells us Christians to live “not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9). The Bible challenges us regularly in this area: Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, turn the other cheek, and so on. In Matthew 5:44-47, Jesus asked if you only love the people that love you, then where is your reward? How are you any different than the heathens?Love for a hurtful parent doesn’t come from our own abilities. It comes from the supernatural love of Jesus who died for us even while we were undeserving sinners (Romans 5:8). Through the power of the Holy Spirit we can choose to love those who we feel don’t deserve it.You may feel that by honoring your parent, you are excusing his behavior. But remember that no evil will escape God’s eyes or go unpunished. Romans 12:19 says, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”You need to honor your parents not because you think they deserve it, but because God asked you to. By doing so, you honor God by keeping His commandments.Start praying now for supernatural strength to practice at least one of these 10 suggestions:

1. Forgive their transgressions.

When people commit a transgression, they essentially owe you a debt. In most cases, it’s a debt they cannot pay. Forgiveness means that you choose to wipe away the debt they owe.In Matthew 18, Jesus told the story of a slave who owed his king a great deal of money. The slave begged for more time, and the king had compassion and forgave his debts. Later, the slave confronted a friend who owed him a little money. The friend begged for more time, but the slave had him thrown into prison. When the king discovered what happened, he had the slave tortured until he repaid all that he owed. Jesus said, “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

2. Extend mercy.

Do you consider yourself to be a good person? If you said yes, then let me ask you a few of questions: Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen something, even something seemingly insignificant? Have you ever lusted? If the answer to any of these is yes, you have broken the Ten Commandments. Were it not for God’s mercy to send His Son to die for your sins, you would be destined for eternity in hell. Aren’t you glad for mercy? The next time your parent says a hurtful word or offends you in some way, remember that God chose to have mercy on you. Instead of seething with anger, look at your parent with compassion, putting aside any bitterness that tries to form in your heart.

3. Share the gospel.

If you had the cure for cancer, wouldn’t you share it? Christians have the cure for a disease far more dangerous than cancer, the kind that destroys the soul. And the answer is Jesus Christ. Have you shared the gospel with your unbelieving parents?I’ve heard evangelists say that the hardest people to witness to are family members. It’s intimidating. But Jesus said we are blessed when men persecute us for His sake (Matthew 5:11-12). Your parents may never have another chance to hear of salvation. Make it a priority to honor them by telling them about the cure they need.

4. Appreciate the good things.

Everyone on this earth has redeeming qualities. Try to think of as many as you can for your mother or father.What positive physical attributes did this parent pass to you? What about personality traits? Instead of dwelling on bad memories or scars, consider how God has used this parent to make you the person you are today.

5. Do something as an act of kindness.

Send flowers for no special reason, or call the parent on the phone just to catch up. Use a special skill that you have to meet a need, such as, paint the bathroom, fix the car, or mow the lawn.

6. Choose to speak kindly of them.

Our words are powerful. James 3:5 says, “The tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!” Words have the ability to bring death or life. Choose to use words about your parent that will bring life.Remember the woman at the beginning of this article? She didn’t have much to say about her dad, but what she did say was kind. She could have gone on for hours about the ways he ruined her life, but instead she chose to stop blaming and honor her father, whether he deserved it or not.

Wondering if your family is toxic?

7. Consider writing a tribute.

A tribute is essentially an essay written to honor a parent. For more information about writing a tribute, read the article “The Best Gift You Can Give Your Parents.” You can also see examples of tributes at the end of that article. If you don’t have many good things to say, then make it short. The message doesn’t have to be very long, but it can be a powerful time of honor and connection.

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8. Teach your children to honor and extend mercy to their grandparents.

Just as you should honor your parents, your children should honor their grandparents. Instruct them to speak kindly of your parents, learn from their mistakes, and extend mercy. Remember that your children will one day be raising your grandchildren and exposing your mistakes. Teach them the same mercy that you would want extended to you.

9. Pray for the parent who mistreated you.

Jesus said to pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:28). How long has it been since you and your children prayed for your father or mother? Make it a priority this week to pray that God would change their hearts, that He would grant them the gift of salvation, and for healing and restoration in your relationships. As you pray, lift those burdens to the Lord and trust in His will. James 5:16 says, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

10. Keep your parents connected with your family.

When relationships are strained, it’s easy to become isolated. Unfortunately, isolation prevents healing and often creates even more awkwardness. Don’t leave your parents out of your life, even if they are antagonistic toward you. Continue to send cards and pictures. Allow them to talk to the children on the phone, or if they are unfit to speak to children, keep communicating in other ways.

Copyright © 2006 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

(Video) Honoring Your Parents, Even if The Don’t Deserve It!!

FAQs

How can you honor your parents when you don't feel they deserve it? ›

Treat them with respect

Talk kindly to them. Talk kindly about them if you can. Even if you don't agree with them, even if they do not treat you with respect, take the high road. Don't engage them in arguments and walk away if you must.

How can we honor our parents? ›

Make a sincere comment or ask an honest question during family scripture study. Go grocery shopping with your parents. Pray for your parents one at a time during your personal prayers. Spend time doing some of your parents' favorite activities with them.

How do you honor your parents now how do you think you will honor them when you are an adult? ›

How Do I Honor My Father and Mother as a Young Adult?
  • Work together on setting clear boundaries. ...
  • Take an interest in their lives and feelings. ...
  • Tell them about your life. ...
  • Learn from them. ...
  • Express your appreciation for them. ...
  • Ask for a father's blessing. ...
  • Speak positively about them to others. ...
  • Pray for them.

How do you make your parents feel valued? ›

6 Ways to Make Your Parents Feel Valued
  1. Plan a special outing. ...
  2. Ask them for advice. ...
  3. Present them with the story of their life. ...
  4. Be sure to share your good news. ...
  5. Give them an embossed gift. ...
  6. Make peace with them (and the past)

Why is it important to honor your parents? ›

When we honor our parents, we bring happiness to them and we become better, happier people ourselves. And as we sincerely and consistently honor and respect our children, we will have the joy and blessing of being loved, honored, and respected by them.

How do you obey your parents write five points? ›

Crossing your arms and looking the other way. Tapping your foot impatiently while they are talking. Rolling your eyes when you disagree with something. Staring at them aggressively, or glaring at them.

How do you honor someone? ›

The 8 best ways to honor a loved one who has passed
  1. Experience their favorite things. ...
  2. Make a donation. ...
  3. Create a memorial. ...
  4. Create a grant or scholarship. ...
  5. Complete their unfinished projects. ...
  6. Keep something of theirs close by. ...
  7. Light a candle. ...
  8. Establish a celebration of their life.
13 Aug 2021

How do you show honor? ›

19 Ways to Honor Yourself and Others
  1. Pay a compliment.
  2. Treat others with respect.
  3. Be understanding.
  4. Be patient.
  5. Ask questions.
  6. Challenge assumptions.
  7. Overlook mistakes.
  8. Forgive.
12 Sept 2014

What the Bible says about honoring your parents? ›

Ephesians 6:1-3

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

What does God say about disowning family? ›

In fact, the Scriptures are full of teachings instructing us to leave relationships with wicked or evil people, to be separate from them, to shun, outcast, and purge them from our midst. (1 Corinthians 15:33, Proverbs 13:20, Psalm 1:1, Proverbs 6:27, 1 Corinthians 5:11, 1 Corinthians 10:13 – these are just a few).

What is the consequences of not honoring your parents? ›

In any particular family, the consequences of dishonoring a parent can range from mild feelings of anger, hurt, and sadness to intense anger, disappointment, extreme hurt, and disownment.

How do you build positive relationships with parents? ›

How to build positive relationships with parents
  1. Wear a smile. ...
  2. Learn their names. ...
  3. Learn to communicate effectively. ...
  4. Ask questions. ...
  5. Don't wait to call until there's trouble. ...
  6. Show genuine kindness and compassion for the child. ...
  7. Always start with the good news first. ...
  8. Treat them like a customer.
20 Nov 2019

How do you have a good relationship with your parents? ›

How to Have a Better Relationship with Your Parents
  1. How to Enhance Your Relationship With Your Parents. ...
  2. Look at your parents–and yourself–as adults. ...
  3. Keep your sense of humor. ...
  4. Tell your parents what bothers you. ...
  5. Express appreciation for everything your parents do for you. ...
  6. Share mutual interests with your parents.

How do you make your parents realize your importance? ›

If you promise to do something, always follow through so they know they can trust you.
...
Invite your parents to do a fun activity with you.
  1. Play a board game.
  2. Go for a hike or bike ride.
  3. Bake a family recipe.
  4. Toss or kick a ball around your yard or a local park.
  5. Stream a movie together.
  6. Go on a scavenger hunt.

What is the difference between honoring and obeying your parents? ›

John MacArthur on Education - Obeying vs Honoring - YouTube

What does it mean to honor someone? ›

1a : to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect : to regard or treat with honor. b : to give special recognition to : to confer honor on. 2a : to live up to or fulfill the terms of honor a commitment.

How can you improve your obedience to your parents? ›

Be respectful.

Part of being obedient is showing respect to your parents, honoring their ideas about what's best for you, and showing that you think they are worth listening to. Make sure that you listen when they talk and respond when they ask you to respond. Don't ignore them in public.

Why should we obey and respect our parents? ›

Your parents love you and will sacrifice a lot for your well-being. That means you have an even greater responsibility as a child with Duchenne to listen to your parents, respect them, be disciplined, be grateful for their dedication and hard work, and love them back.

How do you show respect and obedience to elders? ›

Here are 10 ways to respect our Native elders.
  1. Listen More. The old adage “We have two ears and one mouth for a reason” applies here. ...
  2. Be Polite. Acting in a polite way to an elder is a demonstration of respect. ...
  3. Ask for Advice. ...
  4. Visit With Them. ...
  5. Let Them Eat First. ...
  6. Ask About Traditions. ...
  7. Ask About Their Lives. ...
  8. Give Them a Call.
10 Apr 2021

Why should we respect our parents essay? ›

There is no basis for children to disrespect their parents because respecting them is the only way of showing gratitude. Notably, parents are the valid reasons of existence, and we should be courteous, provide for their need and help, as well as living by their expectation on moral grounds.

What are examples of honor? ›

An example of honor is listening to and obeying someone's wishes. An example of honor is accepting a check from someone. Used with His, Her, or Your as a title and form of address for certain officials, such as judges and the mayors of certain cities. Her Honor, Judge Jones.

What is honor and why is it important? ›

HONOUR, THE VIRTUE OF ALL VIRTUES

According to their research, "Honour is living by the virtues. It is showing great respect for yourself, other people and the rules you live by. When you are honourable, you keep your word. You do the right thing regardless of what others are doing."

Why is honour so important? ›

Within cultures, honor is an important and highly esteemed theme. It can be maintained through living up to one's word and promises, providing for the family, and keeping a certain social status.

How can you express your respect for your parents or the elderly? ›

Ways to Honor Our Elders
  • Spend time with them (and listen intently). ...
  • Be polite. ...
  • Ask for advice. ...
  • Eat together. ...
  • Discuss family heritage, history and traditions. ...
  • Call them. ...
  • Tell them how much you appreciate and respect them. ...
  • Visit senior living communities.

How do you show respect to parents the elderly and authority? ›

6 Ways to Honor Our Elders
  1. Ask for advice. Elders are some of the wisest people in society. ...
  2. Call them. ...
  3. Discuss family heritage, history and traditions. ...
  4. Eat together. ...
  5. Spend time with them (and listen intently). ...
  6. Tell them how much you appreciate and respect them.
3 Oct 2017

What is difference between honor and respect? ›

Respect is a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. Honor, on the other hand, refers to higher respect and great esteem. This is the main difference between honor and respect. Honor can also refer to the social standing or position of a person.

What makes a person honorable? ›

The word honorable has to do with people and actions that are honest, fair, and worthy of respect. An honorable person is someone who believes in truth and doing the right thing — and tries to live up to those high principles.

What does the Bible say about honoring people? ›

The Bible clearly says we are to honor everyone (1 Peter 2:17) and not just those we “feel” deserve to be honored. For example, whether we had fantastic parents or not so fantastic ones, we are told to honor them (Exodus 20:12). We are also told to honor those in authority (Romans 13:1-7).

What God says about respecting your parents? ›

Proverbs 6:20-22 says: “My son, keep your father's commands and do not forsake your mother's teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck.

Where does it say to honor your mother and father? ›

The fifth commandment is often referred to as the first commandment with a promise: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Ex. 20:12.)

How can I be a good daughter to my parents? ›

To be a good daughter, you'll need to show your parents that you love and respect them. There is no one way to do this since each family is different, but in general this means that you should listen to your parents, be responsible and help out around the house, and be open, honest, and kind.

What does God say about disrespecting your parents? ›

"Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee" (Deuteronomy 5:16a). Disrespectful actions of children, no matter their age, are abhorred by God, and there's no place that's worse to see the disrespectful actions of children than in a homeschooling family.

Why God removes someone from your life? ›

The first answer is simple: To fulfill his divine plan. God's ultimate plan is that we live forever with him in his kingdom. When we give our lives to God, we are giving him permission to do his will in our lives. Therefore, anything or anyone that comes in the way of fulfilling God's plan in your life, he will remove.

What does the Bible say about walking away from family? ›

Group 2 – Bible Verses About Moving Away From Family

Ephesians 5:31 – “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Exodus 20:12 – “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. “

What are the consequences of disobedience to parents? ›

Disobedience to your parents can land you in trouble and force you to pay the price later. Obeying your parents can be a very new dynamic at times. Adults will only tell you not to do something if they are concerned about your safety.

How did Jesus honor his parents? ›

Jesus honored His parents, Mary and Joseph, on earth. He also honored His Heavenly Father by keeping the commandments. As He grew up, Jesus obeyed His earthly parents. He loved and cared for them.

Why you should not disobey your parents? ›

Disobeying your parents can put you in bad situation which can leave you to pay the consequences later. I disobey my father one time and had to pay serious consequences for my action. I can still remember it like it was yesterday.

How do we honor our parents according to the Bible? ›

For Christian children, the key to honoring parents is to obey them “in the Lord” (Eph. 6:1; Col. 3:20). This is to live life in union with Christ, through faith, by his power, and for God's glory.

What the Bible says about honoring parents? ›

Christ has redeemed you to honor your parents.

Honor your father and mother” (Ephesians 6:2). It's the fifth commandment and one of the first we teach our small children, yet we seem to forget that it applies to us grown-ups as well.

How do you honor your mother and father in the Bible? ›

Our Rabbis taught: It says, 'Honour your father and your mother' (Exodus 20:12), and it says, 'Honor God with your wealth' (Proverbs 3:9). By using the same terminology, the Torah compares the honour you owe your father and mother to the honour you have to give to the Almighty.

What does the Bible say about respecting your parents? ›

Proverbs 6:20-22 says: “My son, keep your father's commands and do not forsake your mother's teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.”

What the Bible says about honoring your mother? ›

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."

What does it mean to honor someone? ›

1a : to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect : to regard or treat with honor. b : to give special recognition to : to confer honor on. 2a : to live up to or fulfill the terms of honor a commitment.

How do you honor unbelieving parents? ›

How to Honor Your Unbelieving Mother
  1. Honor Your Mother by Your Obedience. You should obey your mother so far as you are able. ...
  2. Honor Your Mother for her Position in Life. Honor your mother, as much as you're able, for her position as your mother. ...
  3. Honor Your Mother by Pointing her to Christ.
9 May 2017

What is God's promise for those who honor their mother? ›

“Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” This is the first commandment God ever gave mankind with a promise.

What does the Bible say about disrespecting your parents? ›

"Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee" (Deuteronomy 5:16a). Disrespectful actions of children, no matter their age, are abhorred by God, and there's no place that's worse to see the disrespectful actions of children than in a homeschooling family.

What does God say about disowning family? ›

In fact, the Scriptures are full of teachings instructing us to leave relationships with wicked or evil people, to be separate from them, to shun, outcast, and purge them from our midst. (1 Corinthians 15:33, Proverbs 13:20, Psalm 1:1, Proverbs 6:27, 1 Corinthians 5:11, 1 Corinthians 10:13 – these are just a few).

How do you honor a toxic mother? ›

How to Honor a Toxic Mother (6 simple ways) - YouTube

What does the Bible say about loving your parents? ›

"Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity."

What is the consequences of not honoring your parents? ›

In any particular family, the consequences of dishonoring a parent can range from mild feelings of anger, hurt, and sadness to intense anger, disappointment, extreme hurt, and disownment.

What does the Bible say about children's responsibilities towards their parents? ›

“As for children, obey your parents in the Lord, because it is right. The commandment 'Honor your father and mother' is the first one with a promise attached: 'so that things will go well for you, and you will live for a long time in the land.

What does the Bible say about children turning against their parents? ›

[21] And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. [22] And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

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