Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Serious Consequences of Dishonoring Parents

6 Important Truths that should motivate us to be deliberate and serious about honoring our parents, even if they are annoying. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #HonoringParents

Please read Are You Losing Your Blessings as a good introduction to this study.

There is a serious problem in the body of Christ. A growing number of adult children are ungrateful, critical, and disrespectful toward their Christian and non-Christian parents. 

They are magnifying their parents' faults and minimizing their parents' sacrifices and love. 
They expect grace from their parents, but give very little in return. Unfortunately, many in the church are sympathizing with these fault-finders in direct contradiction to God's Word.
When we become adults, we take on adult responsibilities toward our parents. We no longer obey them, but we do our part to have a meaningful relationship with them. 

God never excuses disrespect toward parents because disrespect toward parents shows disrespect for His commands and promises.

Even if your parents made some large mistakes, you can return good for evil and be blessed by God (Romans 12:21).

Six truths that help us understand the scriptural view of honoring parents:
1. The Death Penalty

6 Important Truths that should motivate us to be deliberate and serious about honoring our parents, even if they are annoying. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #HonoringParents
In the nation of Israel, God commanded that children who curse their parents be put to death. This was a civil law for a period in Israel's history, not a permanent law of God. But it shows the emphasis God puts on our words spoken to and about our parents. The principle is not limited to verbally cursing a parent.

And if we doubt that this law reflects God's hatred for dishonoring parents, we need only read the words of Jesus who quotes this law in Matthew 15. Jesus applies this principle to people who neglect their parents while claiming to be spiritual.

Leviticus 20:9: Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head.
Matthew 15:4: For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.'
Read the full passage here: Matthew 15:1-9.
2. Cursing Parents

Cursing someone can mean speaking a verbal curse over them, but it includes more than that. The Hebrew word in this sentence means "to bring into contempt, accurse, despise." 

This would include speaking negatively about your parents around your children so that your children form disrespectful views toward them. It can be appropriate to share parental difficulties with a few close friends or with a counselor, but we must use caution and ask ourselves how we are expressing our disappointments and why.
Proverbs 20:20: If someone curses their father or mother, their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.

Proverbs 30:11-13: Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother. They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed. They look proudly around, casting disdainful glances.

3. Mocking Parents

We can also show contempt for our parents by making fun of them, looking down on them or speaking flippantly to or about them. The Hebrew word for "mocks" in the verse below means to "laugh, scorn, mock."

Talking about our parents in this manner is never appropriate.
Proverbs 30:17: The eye that mocks a father, that scorns an aged mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures.
4. The Elderly

6 Important Truths that should motivate us to be deliberate and serious about honoring our parents, even if they are annoying. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #HonoringParents
Leviticus 19:32 commands people to stand in the presence of the elderly as a way of showing them respect and also showing reverence for God. 

This command is not based on the character or importance of the elderly person, but on their age. God obviously thinks respect for the elderly is important.
Scripture considers respect for parents the norm. The verse below assumes that we speak respectfully to our own parents, something that often isn't true in this day and age.

1 Timothy 5:1: Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. 
God commands us to honor and respect different types of leaders, even secular government leaders, based on their age and position, not based on their character or integrity. We honor our parents because God says we owe them honor, not because they have "earned" it. 
Romans 13:1: Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
5. Rewards

Why do you think the Fifth Commandment and the verse below promise blessings on those who honor their parents? Why would God give this command an emphasis He doesn't give the others?

Ephesians 6:2-3: “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
6. "Unworthy" Parents

Luke 6:32: If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.
1 John 4:20: Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

I know people who love ungodly unbelievers enough to spend their lives sharing the gospel, but they place "boundaries" in their relationship with their parents because they find their parents annoying. That means they are picking and choosing which of God's commands to obey and it shows a lack of love for God as well as a lack of love for their parents.

John 14:23: Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them."

God will not simply look at their service to the gospel. He will also look at their obedience to the gospel.

copyright 2019, Gail Burton Purath,

Bite Size Bible Study


  1. this is all good and well.... but what if you are even as a very young child abused by your parents ? what can a child at the age of 2 or 3 do possible do so wrong that a mother slam a hot poke on the wrist of the child? or that a child at the age of 4 got a sexual disease ? I have truly forgiven my parents with my whole heart! but how can I ever honor them ? it was a long and painful road and only God was with me when the abuse went on and on until I reached the age that I could leave! How can I honor them ?

    1. Dear Unknown,
      This article is addressing the general population of adult children, not those who were abused by their parents.

      Unfortunately, there are many who had good parents and yet claim to have been "abused" simply because their parents don't agree with them or dare to contradict them. I see this routinely in correspondence I receive and from personal friends. Those are the people I am addressing in this devotion. They not only do themselves a disservice, they do you and others who are genuinely abused a disservice by daring to compare their problems to yours.

      I believe God wants adults who were abused by their parents to honor them, but that will look very different in your case than in those who had normal parents.

      I have personally known two women who were abused by their parents. One was sexually abused by her father and brothers throughout most of her young life. The other was sexually and physically abused and frequently abandoned by her single mother. For them, the first step was forgiveness. One of these women never received an apology from her mother, the other received a deathbed apology from her father. Most abusive parents don't repent, so the forgiveness is for your benefit, not theirs.

      God will deal with them for what they have done, but you have hope to move past it through forgiveness. The worst tragedy is when an abused child ruins her/his life by carrying a load of bitterness because bitterness destroys us. In fact, bitterness is a way of letting abusive parents have a final victory in our lives.

      I'm genuinely sorry for what you have suffered. Your way of honoring your parents may simply be to forgive them and have nothing else to do with them. Or, God may give you other ways to honor them. That is going to be something very personal between you and God.

      And please pray for those children who dishonor parents who you would have loved to have had instead of your genuinely abusive parents.

    2. i looked up this article because am currently going through a very difficult and painful phase in the family. our daughter decided to abuse us (the father and i) and storm off to her birth mother. She is my husband's child. she did this because we tried to correct her for being rude to guests in the house and for bringing over her boyfriend to sleep over without informing us.

    3. Dear Unknown,
      I am so sorry for this situation you are going through. There is a great epidemic of children abusing, rejecting, and neglecting their parents for selfish, ungodly reasons. You were right not to allow your daughter to be rude or sleep with her boyfriend in your home. I pray your daughter will see the error of her ways.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I am originally from Ghana, West Africa but resides in the US. I lost my mom and brother in 2015, was devastated, so my dad became my all in all until recently when he betrayed me by siding with my step-mother against me.
    My case is very sensitive because it involves certain cultural phenomenon that I know many people in the West would dismiss as superstition because they don't understand our realities in dealing with Witchcraft. Yes, witchcraft, not the Wicca type in the West, but powers of darkness that destroy people and properties through demonic manipulations. In 2016, one year after the passing of my mom, my daddy became sick, and in our culture, some of us, when we face challenges that are beyond our physical understanding, we seek help from pastors/prophets who are able to diagnose the challenges spiritually and then prescribe remedies. It turned out that my step-mom was spiritually responsible for my dad's physical ailment through revelations. Certain rites were prescribed for me to do that led to my daddy recovering later after the stepmom had confessed spiritually of being responsible for the sickness and stated why she was doing that. During the consultations I was warned to be wary of my daddy because he was being fed witchcraft by the wife and that one day he would betray, abuse and disrespect me because of the evil spirits he was being initiated into. Then in 2017, I traveled to Ghana. One week in Ghana, and he became sick ( I suspected some spiritual scheming because I observed that my daddy would be all well till when I am in Ghana and would be falling sick that I would have to spend all the money on him for his recovery. During the time of this sickness, which was prostate issues, my daddy gave me and my other half siblings who were the care takers of him, hell to the extent of condemning us when people paid him get well soon visits. He would say things like, my children don't take care of me, they are starving me, they are wicked etc. They have the means but out of wickedness, they hardly support me, he would continued. I became the laughing stock of the town because I live abroad ( In our culture, expectations to do any thing is always higher for those who live abroad than the locals). I confronted him and he denied saying things like that so I gave my sister a tape recorder to record his conversations when he had visitors- Lo and behold, here was my daddy saying all sorts of lies about us especially me and accusing me of not taking care of him ( even though he has about 8 adult children, I was his main source of financial support, remitting him monthly). When I heard the tape in which he was conversing and insulting us to our step-mom, I called for a family meeting and challenged the stepmom to give evidence of what they had said about me. They couldn't say anything but she resorted to fake crying. I then went to my spiritual mother, who advised me that everything they were doing was spiritual so I should stay away from them so that they wouldn't be able to carry out their wicked plans to eliminate me spiritually through witchcraft.
    I left Ghana on December 12th, 2017 after over 5 months stay and has not had any contact with them. From the above article vis a vis my personal experience, how do I honor a parent who wants to eliminate me spiritually to manifest physically? Is it worth it?

    1. Your situation sounds especially hard. I'm so sorry that you have struggled with this witchcraft and unjust treatment.

      Can you find a godly counselor to help you sort through this problem and pray with you? Perhaps you are doing the right thing to stay away from your parents in this situation, but it is a complex situation, so I would encourage you to find a godly Bible-believing pastor or a godly older person who can pray with you and give you some counsel.

      I have prayed for you as well. May God guide you and give you peace. In Jesus Name.

  3. Having grown up in a dysfunctional family situation I can relate to these situations that have been expressed. Through prayer, comtemplation and God given discernment the realization that I can forgive even in a situation where no explicit apology was given is possible..understanding God's powerful grace towards us regardless of the sins we have committed towards others, intentional or not, is key as well as knowing that were evil thrives his grace grows ever stronger..hope this may help and may the grace and understanding that comes from our Holy and everlasting Father in Heaven be with you all in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    1. Thanks for your insights. I appreciate them, and I think they can benefit other readers.
      I'm sorry that you had these problems growing up and I'm grateful for your testimony of being able to move forward.
      God bless you.

  4. Dear Unknown, I sympathize with your situation and understand it to a certain extent. I am an only child and my mother abused me physically, emotionally and mentally for most of my childhood. When I became a teen, the physical abuse stopped but she increased the emotional and mental abuse. In turn the abuse put a type of fear in me that I struggled for years. For many years even leading into my adult years I had a deep hatred for my mother to the point where I wished her dead. It wasn't until I understood the spiritual aspect along with her diagnosis of schizophrenia nearly 20 years ago that God showed me how her illness affected her in being a proper mother. My parents took care of me in the sense that I was always fed and had a roof over my head. I never went hungry and had my basic needs met. I don't fault my parents anymore, especially my mother. After God worked on me for a number of years and showed me a different viewpoint of what my mother was dealing with during my childhood, I repented deeply for wishing death on her. Now she's in a facility that is taking care of her and the schizophrenia and I am her guardian. I am her only family left as she and my father divorced many years ago. My mother never apologized and God helped me to forgive her. I hope my story will help and that God helps you too.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your insights, Kim.
      You definitely have insights for others who were abused.
      I know God will reward you, not only for forgiving your mother, but also for caring for her.
      God bless you!

  5. My mother is deceased and she abandoned me when I was a child. She was abusive and a drug addict, who introduced me to drugs and porn at 12 when I went I live with her as well as allow her boyfriend to have his way with me, set me up to go to jail stole my rent money allowed me to be beaten and other injustices. I used to fight her back when she would kick me in my pregnant stomach. Once I really became saved I brought her with us to take care of her and I asked her to forgive me for being mean back due to hurt. She apologized to me but never actually repented. I was recently telling one of my children some of the things she did to me and was wondering if I am dishonoring her even though she is gone. Lately I have been remembering a lot of things and a lot of hurt that I thought was gone is coming up

    1. Dear Lisa,
      First let me say how sorry I am that you had to suffer in these ways from someone who should have loved and protected you. Your comment made me cry. I wish I could give you a hug. I am so, so glad that you found the Lord.

      No, I don't think you are dishonoring your mother to honestly share the things she did. This is part of your testimony and the fact that you cared for her is another miracle of God in your life. It shows your faith and trust in God. Please know that it was no small thing that you did that.

      I wish my friend Jane could give you a call, and she probably would if she were not in heaven with the Lord. She could identify with many of the things you mention. Her mother was a prostitute who involved Jane in sexual abuse, left her alone many times as a small child, and generally mistreated her.

      Jane was a beautiful example of how God can heal terrible wounds like those you've had in your life.

      Let me share something she once shared with me. I hope it will help you. She said that she would get to a point where she felt all was forgiven and she had moved on. Then something would come to her mind and she would grieve and have to work through it, get rid of all bitterness and move one. One time she said she was reminded that her mother would prepare a nice meal for herself and give Jane some old food that wasn't enough to fill her little tummy. She said she hadn't thought about it for years, but it took her a few days to deal with it, give it to the Lord and move on.

      She saw this as God's grace...not demanding that she deal with everything all at once, but letting her deal with it bit by bit.

      Perhaps that is what God is doing in your life as well.
      I pray for you, Lisa, that you will continue to yield yourself to the Lord so He can finish the work he has begun in you.

  6. This article has been a blessing to me. The Holy Spirit has convinced me of this grave sin against the Lord and my parents. I had so much pain and anger towards my mother in my heart due to being abused by my father and my mothers lack of belief when I as a child told her the truth. And now that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior and being in this walk for over 2 years I’ve realized there are still wounds in my heart that were hidden and need healing by the Lord. But how beautiful is my Lord that when you seek him in spirit and in truth he will cleanse you if you allow him. Hallelujah!

    And reading your article and being able to read the different scriptures that keep convicting me and how good God is and merciful he is even when we think we are righteous in our own eyes, and how we always need to be lead by the Spirit of God to live a life worthy of him and be doers of the word and not just hearers. God bless you greatly.

    1. Dear Maddie,
      I'm so sorry that you were abused by your father and your mother didn't acknowledge it. I can't imagine how hard that must have been.

      I'm so blessed to hear you say that God is helping you heal from those things.

  7. Thank you for this well put together article. It is relevant to myself at the moment as I am now elderly with two adult sons living with me. (I also have a number of health problems that has rendered me disabled). One of my sons has mental health issues and is medicated and is actually very intelligent but is lacking wisdom wholly. He has been a Christians since age 6 and was also water baptized then.
    I have endured a whole lot of hell from him (he is 35)over the past year and we have suspected he is using some drugs off and on (not prescribed). He says the most terrible things to me to the point where it cause extreme anxiety and fear and I know fear is not of God...I end up staying in my room for days at a time.
    The next day he acts as if nothing happened. He does remember it as it comes up later and he knows what he is doing.
    I have cared for him for 33 years of his life and I am now at the point of having to move because this has been a main contributor to my failing health and although I love him I cannot carry on this way. I have shared this article on Facebook in hopes he will see it

    1. Dear Nancy, I am so sorry for your situation. I pray God gives you wisdom and strength to bring yourself some relief. You should not have to live under these conditions.

      I've prayed for you.
      God bless you.