How to honor our father & mother if they have been abusive and have not changed their ways?

Automatic Transcript Generated

Speaker 1

Alright, let’s go. Next question. So Athena has another question. The Bible says to honor thy father and thy mother. What if your parents have been abusive and have not changed their abusive ways?

Speaker 2

Yeah, this is an excellent question. And I know this is something that a lot of people struggle with. And Wendy and I know people where their parents have weaponized this Bible verse for that purpose, where they continue to basically abuse their kids. But say, you got to do what I say because there’s this Bible verse and I just want to first say that is not what God ever intended. That is not God’s plan.

Speaker 1

Spiritual abuse?

Speaker 2

Yes, at a minimum, spiritual abuse. But first, let’s go back and let’s look at this vowel verse. And we’ll touch base there or circle back there. So Exodus 20, verse twelve is one of the times this verse actually comes up many times. But this is the first instance of it says, honor your father and your mother that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. So this is one of the Ten Commandments. This is the fifth commandment. It’s the first of the six that deal with our relationship with each other. The first four are about our relationship with God. The next six are about our relationships with fellow humans. And God puts first and foremost our relationship with our parents. And it makes sense because this is the first relationship you will have. It’s going to be with your parents. And your parents are there to be protecting you, nurturing you, growing you when you’re a child. And your role as a child should be listening and obeying and following and learning from your parents. And the process will go optimally when your parents are loving you and when you are loving them back and obeying them.

Speaker 2

That’s how it’s supposed to be. Also, parenthood is kind of in the image of God. We call it procreation the process of having kids because it is a creative act and maybe a very special one. It’s supposed to be this amazing experience where parents get to experience having a child, someone that’s like of their body in a sense, and having this extreme closeness of connection that you wouldn’t really have without any other relationship. It’s also special. Just like husband and wife. It’s a very special relationship also in the image of God. And you look at, for example, Enoch, and when he had kids, that’s when his walk with God really took off. He was like 300 years old, had his first son. And then he really walked with God because growing up, the kid he confer really changed his perspective. He better understood love, better understood God’s love and paying God experiences, let’s say when we turn against Him, when we don’t obey Him, this is how it’s supposed to be. And when you’re obeying, your parents are doing what’s right, you’re going to be making right decisions, you’re going to live a happier life and you’ll have a longer life, and God will probably shed extra blessings on you.

Speaker 2

That’s that last part of that verse. And Paul talks about that. Let’s look at Romans 313, verses eight to ten. He says, oh, no one anything except to love one another. Sorry, this is actually a different verse, but let’s go there now. So we talked about this is all about love, really. He says, paul says romans 13, verse eight, oh, no, anything except to love one another. For he who loves has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet. And if there is any other commandment, all are summed up in this scene, namely you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Paul would say, we provide it in this context. You shall love your parents as yourself, or you should love your children as yourself. Paul says love, verse ten, love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. So if we really step back and not just get hung up on what are the specific Ten Commandments? What are the Ten Commandments really calling us to do? They’re calling us not to do any harm for anybody.

Speaker 2

Don’t harm anybody. Don’t physically harm anybody. Don’t emotionally harm anybody. And in fact, God will probably say don’t spiritually harm anybody. Don’t turn them away from God and damage the relationship with them. This is so critical. And so it goes beyond just thou shalt not murder. That’s one of the commandments. And when you’re constantly abusing somebody, attack them emotionally even, it shortens their life. It is taking life away from them. God doesn’t want that. They’re under a commandment not to be murdering you. It’s two sided. They need to be loving you, your parents and your parents, you need to be loving them. And if there’s a break in that God is not going to want you to stay in a position where you’re continually being harmed. And it really is a lie that people need a stained, abusive relationship. And God allowed divorce for the very reason. So that someone is being abused, they can get out of it. And you say, yeah, well, it’s only adultery. But no, I would say if Jesus was before us today, he would say, yeah, if you’re being attacked, if someone’s trying to murder you, there should be a ground also to let you out.

Speaker 2

And let’s talk about this word honor, by the way, what does it mean? It actually means to put weight on something. Weight, good or bad, is really interesting. So there’s a whole bunch of negative connotations for it, make it so they feel weighty, but also means like adding weight of honor, glory, that sort of thing. So you have judges 1317. It says manoah, this was the father of Samson. Manoa said to the angel of the Lord, what is your name that when your words come to pass, we may honor you. In this context, he’s not just saying that we may obey you, but can we glorify you, exalt you, respect you? That’s not a book. Second Samuel 23, verses 18 to 19 says, now Abbasi, the brother Joab, the son of Zaruiah, was chief of another three. Just to talk about David’s Men, he was chief of another three. He lifted his spear against 300 men, killed them. Wanda name among these three. So there’s a special group of three people, and he was not was he not the most honored of the three. Therefore, he became the captain. However, he did not attain to the first three, not trying to get hung up on one of these things, being other than was he not more honored than the others?

Speaker 2

Not necessarily saying was he the most obeyed of them, but he was sort of like the structure, harkey system and level of respect, accommodation. And he was very high and even put above this special group of the three. So this is kind of how God’s idea was with parents. There’s parents up here that say, and then the children will be beneath them. And you respect the position of the parents. You recognize they’re in a position of responsibility. They are in a position of greater wisdom. More love is expected of them. Because of that, you respect them. You appreciate what they’re dealing with in their position, and there’s a certain level of trust in that. They’ll be loving you back and taking care of you.

Speaker 3

Are you going to keep going? I had a thought, but I don’t know.

Speaker 2

Go ahead.

Speaker 3

Okay, so I don’t know if you already shared this first, because I had a minute where I couldn’t hear anything when you were first talking for a bit, but as soon as I heard the question right now, a verse came in Psalm 27. I don’t know if you looked at that already, but this is a verse that was very dear to my heart. Because when I came into the church in high school or came into a relationship with Jesus in high school, I had a friend that I was friends with, and I was trying to win her to Jesus as well because she really didn’t go to church or know anything about God. And she came from a very broken home where mom had completely abandoned the family. I think she was doing drugs and that sort of thing. And then dad was still doing drugs, but not hard drugs. And he was abusive as well. And it was just a terrible situation that she was in. And she was like the 10th Commandment say, honor my father and mother, but they’re terrible. And God gave me this promise that made so much sense. And if you look in the book of Psalms 27.

Speaker 3

In verse ten, it says basically well, verse nine, he’s saying he’s asking God, don’t hide your face from me. He’s looking to God. And in verse ten it says, when my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me. And so when there comes a point if your father and your mother forsake you, if they abandon you, if they abuse you, if they mistreat you in such a way that is not worthy of honor as a mother or father, it is the Lord then who steps in as your parent. And you do not have to obey what they’re saying in a sense. Like if they’re saying, come home so I can abuse you, no, that’s not honorable. So, no, you don’t have to obey things that are not honorable of your parents when they are abusing or when they’re abusive. You might not spread rumors about or spread all this to everybody in your circle of influence. Like, this is all the things my mom and dad did to me, maybe given that respect of just like I just don’t have a relationship with them and just kind of be discreet about it.

Speaker 3

And the thing is, the only way I believe in honoring your parents at that point is to do God’s will. Because God is now your father and God is asking you to live a different life, a life of kindness and not abuse. And so that’s what I would say. If you keep reading that chapter, it’s actually really beautiful how he’s talking about his enemies and how God will make a way for me. And in verse 14 is the last verse of this chapter. It says, wait on the Lord, be of good courage and he shall strengthen your heart. Because I’m sure if that’s the case, if your parents are abusing you, you definitely need God to strengthen your heart. And he says, Wait. I say on the Lord. So look to God as your parent. Look to God to fulfill that whole that really only mom or dad can fill because God can do that for you.

Speaker 2

Wow. That’s the verse I was looking for. I couldn’t find the closest I found was Ephesians 64, which says, and you fathers do not provoke their children to wrath, but bring them up in training and admonition in the Lord.

Speaker 3

Yeah, that’s a good one too. Yeah. Don’t for children. So, yeah, God is telling parents not even, not even provoke them, not but.

Speaker 2

Can you read that again from Psalms where it says, like if your parents.

Speaker 3

Forsake you in Psalms 27, verse ten? Yeah, it says, when my father and my mother forsaked me, then the Lord will take care of me.

Speaker 2

That’s so beautiful.

Speaker 3

Yes, it really is. I know. The King James version says, the Lord shall lift me up, I think is how that reads. I think they’re both beautiful and very accurate translations. And I think that God definitely inspired these translations. But this is a promise that God will provide for you as a parent and he will be there for you.

Speaker 1

I just want to give testimony to that because I have a parent who has severe mental illness and it was triggered when I was very young and he became emotionally disconnected and emotionally disappeared, unable to be present and to really fulfill a parental role. Now, I don’t believe he was ever intentionally abusive or neglectful. I think actually it’s quite impressive with as severe as his mental illness was, how much he did try to be there. But because of the mental illness, because of his trauma and the things that he was going through, there was a lot of inappropriate behaviors and that had an adverse effect on me and left me with the hallmarks of abuse, even though I don’t believe he was ever intentionally trying to be that way. But what was so fascinating to me is that God stepped into my life in such a strong way that my siblings would tease me for having an imaginary friend that I would talk to when I was young. And I had this relationship with God growing up that was so strong and so direct that I didn’t even understand it at the time because I wasn’t in a church, I wasn’t raised in a church.

Speaker 1

But because of that relationship with God, because of Him stepping in and fulfilling that role in my life, I knew God before I knew who God was. And I really do believe that that is something that he is. That promise that you just read, I mean, I’ve never actually read that verse and process that in that way, but when you read it, I was just like, whoa, there is so much truth to that verse. And he has stayed faithful and true and it’s really mind blowing.

Speaker 2

I love the verse second thessalonians 216. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and our God and Father who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word in word. God our Father, comfort our hearts. Yeah, he does step in.

Speaker 1

It’s amazing. And you know, the other thing I wanted to say as well is that a lot of people, a lot of parents who are abusive to children, we have to keep in mind that they’re struggling with a mental illness and a spiritual battle that is very strong and God wouldn’t want there’s often delusions going on in their mind that’s causing them to act out in these ways. God would not want us to follow, forgive, respect to delusions sin in its course. Yeah. So it’s one thing to honor the person as God created them to be. It’s another thing to honor the broken, sinful, abusive things that are happening because of sin in the world. Even when my own father and I had some experiences that were extremely hard for me and made it very difficult for me to be in contact with him and to communicate with him because of what he was going through and how he was acting about it. It wasn’t that I had to stop caring about him or stopped loving him, but I did have to distance myself for my own safety and protection. And that, I think, is important when people are dealing with these situations that honoring someone does not mean submitting yourself to abusive behavior.

Speaker 2

By them.

Speaker 1

It means that I’m going to do my best to love him and support him from a safe distance and from a place where these inappropriate behaviors cannot hurt me. And that’s actually the honorable thing to do because he doesn’t want to hurt me. The Godly part of him does not want to cause that harm. And so I think that’s important to keep in mind that when you’re dealing with someone who is abusive, it’s not good to submit yourself to that abuse.

Speaker 3

Amen. I know you guys already kind of brought this up, talking about God as our Father, just really quick. Romans 815. Just one more promise for anybody out there who’s going through this. Paul says here for you, for you to not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear. So when we came into relationship with God, we’re not supposed to be back in bondage and in fear. I’m sure that’s the spirit of being in an abusive relationship, but it says, but you received the spirit of adoption by whom we cry, abba, Father. Sorry, I can get emotional because Ava, that’s what Jesus said on the cross. It means like, daddy. It’s a very close word. So we’re supposed to have, like, that daddy relationship with our Heavenly Father, not just like, okay, we’re scared of Him. He’s going to punish us if we do something wrong? No, he’s our daddy. He loves us. He cares for us. He wants us to grow and get better. And that’s the Father in heaven that we can have a relationship with. And so I know, like you’re saying, Wendy, there are so many people out there that have had so much hurt from their parents.

Speaker 3

I think it was probably the biggest source of heartache, probably for most people. But I thank God that he is a God of healing, and he’s a God that wants to heal all those broken parts of our hearts in order to restore us into mental health and spiritual health and just happiness in general.

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