Honor Your Father and Your Mother...God.

In my ministry, I deal a lot with "family matters."  Marital problems, rebellious teens, abusive parents, financial woes, etc.  One of the most difficult is the teenager (or adult child) who feels he has justification to dishonor his parents.  And let's face it...some parents are not "honorable."

Because it is such a prevalent problem, I wanted to share some of an email I recently sent to a teenager I believe is struggling with this issue.  I've edited my reply in order to maintain the confidentiality, but the rest of the post stands on its own as good sound advice for us all.

Regardless of what you have been through, be it real or perceived, the Bible commands you to give honor to your parents. You have a number of Facebook friends who say they are "praying" for you. Indeed you have asked for prayer yourself in your recent Facebook post.

Since God answers prayer through His Word, let me give you a few places to study. I don't share these to "fuss" at you but to help to answer your request for prayer. My prayer is that God will guide you as you study these verses.

Leviticus 19:3 - "Every one of you shall reverence his father and mother...for I am the Lord your God."

Notice, the reverence of parents is based on who our GOD is, not who our PARENTS are. We honor father and mother because of how GOD has treated us. Not how our PARENTS have treated us. That's why this commandment could be given to "every one of you." Were there bad parents in ancient Israel? Sure. But that did not exempt the children from showing respect to their parents.

Leviticus 20:9 - "If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother he shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother and his bloodguiltiness shall be upon him."

Sounds like God takes saying ugly things TO or ABOUT your parents very seriously. In fact, in the theocratic government of Israel, FB posts like yours where you dishonor your parents would have gotten you stoned outside the city gate.

These theocratic laws about stoning sinners is not operational today...and praise God because we have ALL violated the Word of God in this matter.  But it does give us an idea of what God thinks about us using our words to dishonor our parents.

Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16 - "Honor your father and your mother."

These two verses come from the Decalogue, or, the Ten Commandments. That alone should be enough. But when you consider that the OT Jews understood the first 5 commandments dealt with our relationship to GOD and commandments 6-10 focused on our relationships with OTHERS, it is quite interesting that the commandment on honoring our parents is actually listed in the section on being rightly related to GOD.

Romans 1:30 lists being "disobedient to parents" as one of several signs of having a reprobate (depraved) mind. It is the sign of someone who has been cut off from and rejected by God.

Ephesians 6:1-3 and Colossians 3:20 continue this teaching into the New Testament. Those verses would be worth a look.

May I share one more thing...I deal with this all the time as a pastor. When church members and professing Christians slam one another publicly (like on FaceBook) and live as if their lives are a wreck, it sure is an awful witness.

I pray that for your sake, the sake of your own testimony, and the sake of some lost soul you will consider removing dishonoring comments about your parents.  You may have other family and FB friends who will condone your actions. I cannot. For God does not. And when they do, they speak in CLEAR and UNEQUIVOCAL violation of what the One you call your LORD has said.

I do not pretend to know very much about what has taken place in your home. But I do know this: such responses are not pleasing to Christ.

I am telling you this because I love you. No one has ever broken God's law and walked away unscathed or unpunished. If your parents have violated God's Word, the LORD is big enough to handle them. In the meantime, ask GOD for strength for you to do what is right in HIS eyes.

I can promise you, you will never regret it.