Like many teenagers, I could not wait to move out of the house when I turned eighteen. I wanted the freedom and the ability to spread my wings. I’m sure my children will feel the same way when they get older. As a matter of fact, my fifteen year old stepson is already talking about moving away when he becomes an adult. And although I’ve only been a mother figure to him for about a year, it hurts my heart.
There is this conception that once you move out of the home, you no longer have to live by your parent’s rules and ways. While that statement may be true, your parents are still your parents and the commandment of honoring your father and mother doesn’t end at adulthood.
“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 (NLT).
Right now when my son asks me “why” he should do something I ask, many times I tell him it’s because I’m his mom and because I said so (great answer, huh?). Well, now we are adults and we don’t have to do what our parents say just because “they say so.”
So, how can we still honor our fathers and mothers as adults?
One thing I have heard that so many of my friends struggle with, is when their parents try to tell them how to parent their children. I can totally understand this as I don’t always like all the “advice” I get on parenting. But when it comes to your parents – hear them out! No, I’m not saying that you need to switch to cloth diapers because that’s what your mama did, but your parents have been around the block before so just listen to what they have to say. And if you still aren’t in agreement – that is okay! By taking the time to listen, you are giving them the respect they deserve as your elder.
- Zip It
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all! There have been many occasions where I don’t agree with something one of my parents has done. It still happens to this day. But that does NOT mean I should go telling everyone else about it. Although we spent a lot of time as children looking up to our parents, they are human. They make mistakes. And they deserve grace just as much as anyone else. (This has been a lesson that I really needed to learn).
Jesus called us to love God and love people. We didn’t choose our parents, they were chosen for us. They took care of us and no matter how old we get, we are still their little girls. Love them. Call them. Make them feel valued. Love is a sign of the utmost respect.
I don’t know what you have been through – maybe your parents treated you terribly. Maybe they weren’t around like they should have been. The Bible says in Mathew 6:15 (NLT), “But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Like I said before, your parents are human. They have their own demons they are battling with. Forgive.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for my parents. Although they may not have done everything perfectly, I am so grateful for you bringing them into my life. Help me continue to respect them no matter how old we get. In Jesus’s Name, amen.
Discussion: How do you honor your parents as an adult? If you are a parent of adult children, how do you feel respected by your children?
This blog post is part of my series for May entitled: Rewriting Relationships. If you enjoyed this post, I would love to have you subscribe via email.
Today I am linking up at Jennifer Moye’s Jesus and Coffee Linkup!