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Dr. Bob DeWitt
Odessa, NY
Parents and Family
How to love & honor your parents when you don't like 'em

I'm sure that there are those who are going to bristle with anger when I say you have to give honor to your parents. Someone might say, "Honor my parents? After what my father did to me? After all I had to go through with my mother? Are you kidding? Give me a break!"

Without a doubt, there are some parents who have been insensitive and unloving in their actions, and have hurt their children deeply. We all know that some mothers and fathers don't appear to deserve honor. I have the misfortune sometimes to have to look young people in the eye and tell them, "Okay, look! Some kids just have lousy parents."

One mother in Oil City, Pennsylvania called the police to report her baby missing. She said she was in the grocery store and turned from her shopping cart and baby for just a second or two to find her child missing. A long, community-wide search began and lasted for weeks, only to find out that the mother had strangled her baby, when it wouldn't stop crying, and placed it in a dumpster in the ally.

A boy in a nearby town is having extreme difficulty honoring his parents because all he ever sees is them screaming and hitting each other. Home is not a safe place for him.

Another girl was thrown out of her house at the age of eleven to make room for another baby her mother was going to have but didn't know who the father was.

Another boy had to leave home because he couldn't stand to see his mother have a different man in over night…every night. He was forced to steal to eat. He landed in jail and hates his mother.

Countless ladies have lived with the terrifying memories of daddy coming into their room at night uninvited. Then, somewhere around thirty years of age, they come to grips with their resentment, only to realize that they had to forgive their father to be able to go on with life.

Most of us grew up with parents who loved us and did their best to provide and build values into our lives. We have no trouble honoring them. Others cannot bring themselves to honor their parents because of their own guilt. They have come to the place in their lives where they have rebelled against everything their parents stand for because they feel that they cannot "measure up" to their parents expectations. They repeatedly blame their parents when, deep down in their heart, they know that they are at fault. They cannot admit it. So they live with a terrible sense of personal guilt and shame. They run from God. They despise the church. They try to destroy themselves and their own bodies. Some commit suicide. But many remain miserable until that day when they can admit to themselves that they were wrong and submit their life to the higher authorities in their life…starting with Mom and Dad. I do not believe a person can be right with God and dishonor their parents. The question is not "Do you have parents who are worth honoring?" The question is "Will you be an honorable person?"

For those who do not have honorable parents, or did not have honorable parents growing up, I want to show you how the trials you are suffering or have suffered at the hands of dishonorable parents can be used to bring positive gain and joy into your life.


    1. Rejecting our parents is robbing from ourselves
    1. All of us are very much like our parents and very much a part of them
    1. We pick up many of their emotional characteristics and habits, and our physical bodies are forever marked by them.
    2. We can never escape our parents.
    1. When God tells us to honor our parents, it's with good reason.
    1. When we lower their value and cut them down, we're dishonoring ourselves.
    2. Some children hear mom or dad constantly cut their grandparents down.
    • It causes incredible confusion in a child's mind when he's been taught to dislike characteristics in his grandparents that he sees every day in his own mom and dad.
    • Like a marksman firing a scattergun at close range, a child who blasts out at a grandfather knows he will hit his father as well.
    1. People who have a bad relationship with their parents are usually people who have low self- esteem.
  • Some people try all their life to get away from the hurtful memory of their father or mother by dishonoring them, only to end up staring at them each morning in the mirror.
  • Parents! Making a decision not to honor our parents keeps us from loving our children as we should.
  • See! There is an ugly chain that is created in a home full of bitterness.

A parent teaches their child to disrespect their grandparents; the child thus learns to disrespect his or her own parents; then they, in turn, teach their own children the same pattern for living all over again.

    1. It robs us of a pattern for living.
    1. For any child, their first look at masculinity comes from observing his father, and their first look at femininity from observing their mother.
    2. What happens when a child cuts himself off from his parents?
    3. Pushed to an extreme, it can, and often does, edge a person toward homosexuality.
    1. Dishonoring our parents effects us physically
    1. In God's first commandment with a promise, "Honor thy father and thy mother," you can't get away from the physical side effects that come from agreeing with or tossing aside God's Word. Either your life will be lengthened or you run the risk of shortening your life.
    2. One reason why dishonoring your parents shortens your life is this:
    1. Inside the brain, where the decision you make to harbor negative feelings toward your parents, there is a series of physical events you would be better off without.
    2. Without getting into all the medical terminology, in short, negative feelings trigger a series of chemical reactions that are detrimental to your health.
    3. Any doctor will tell you that stress is a silent killer: some children live their whole life, many times long after mom and dad are deceased, with the stress of bitter resentment against their parents.

3. A woman is 40 years of age and is watching a re-run of "Little House On the Prairie." She gets steaming mad at how manipulative and scheming Mrs. Olson is toward her family. For the rest of the night, she thinks about her own domineering mother and the feelings of her own anger toward her mother and her own lack of self-worth come back. She gets a terrible headache. IT'S AFFECTING HER PHYSICALLY AND SHORTENING HER LIFE because stress in a silent killer.

    1. God commanded us to honor our parents
    2. Don't you think God knew some people would have lousy parents?
    3. You can't be a good Christian and not honor your parents.

      See, if you can't honor your parents, you love yourself more than you love God. We're not supposed to love anything more than we love God.

    4. If you cannot obey God in honoring your parents, then you cannot obey Him in any other area of your life.
    1. You will have an authority problem for the rest of your life.
    2. Honoring your parents is FOUNDATIONAL in your life.
    3. You will have problems with teachers, employers, law enforcement, and even marriage.
    1. In marriage (or any other relationship) you have to submit "yourselves one to another" (Ephesians 5:21).
    2. You must learn to give up your right to control your own life…first, and foremost, to God, then others.
    3. That’s a bitter pill to swallow for many but essential for happiness.

    1. First, evaluate your current attitude and actions toward your parents.
    1. In the Scriptures, the word "dishonor" is used of something or someone who has little worth, weight, or value.
    2. One word picture used to describe it is like what we often face, driving after a storm: a mist or vapor…fog.
    3. In one instance in Scripture it is used to describe the steam that rises from a boiling pot of water.
    4. Another words: it has a presence, but we don't let it affect us much. We act as if it is not even there. We try to ignore it.
    5. Do I just brush my father and mother aside? Or do I count them as weighty and valuable? If you count them as weighty and valuable you will…
    1. You will listen to what they say, not just look like you're listening.
    2. You will give them the common courtesies you extent to your other friends when you are trying to impress them.
    3. You will spend time with them and not be embarrassed when they are around.
    4. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being very little value, and 10 being much value, what is your present view of your parents?

--- If your value of your parents is low on your list of priorities, make a decision today to move up their value…your feelings for them may move up as well!

    1. Take time to look back and find the things to be thankful for.

Nick name: Rose
2007-07-30 08:36:56

Title: Helpful
Comment: I found this article to be helpful, thanks.


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