Saturday, June 15, 2013

thoughts on honoring our parents - with the truth

When children are growing up, christian parents often quote famously from the Bible, "honor your  father and mother" and "children, obey your parents" to get them to obey and submit.

Often these are the only scriptures they will quote. However this becomes a blanket license for parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts to be unaccountable for their wrongful actions and attitudes, because small children especially are helpless and dependent on them.

 These scriptures are true but are not the whole picture. These can be misused to allow parent figures to get away with physical abuse and emotional abuse and neglect of their children.

 While children are to obey and honor their parents, their parents do not realize that they also have scriptures saying how they should behave - it is the entire Bible. Passages like "be kind to each other", "be patient with everyone" (1 Thessalonians 5) apply in parents' dealings - not just with their adult peers, but with their children as well. Since God is our father, we are all spiritually, brothers and sisters. Hence all the passages that apply in our dealings with each other also apply in our dealings with our children.

 Parents and adult relatives in the family usually disallow any uncomfortable discussion of the truth where they have behaved wrongfully, by saying that it is dishonoring and disrespectful of them. Again, we honor parent figures by speaking the truth in love. Recently, a tree in my garden had rot in its bark. termites had burrowed deep. I had to dig out the rotted wood and spray harsh chemicals on it. It was not easy but probably saved the tree. Similarly when there is rot, disease and dysfunction in a family, covering up does not heal. Correctly using the sword of the Spirit - the Word of God to clean out the wounds and dress them with bandages of love and care is necessary for healing and restoration.

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