Many people are under the mistaken belief that if a person claims to be a Christian, they must blindly obey their parents, no matter what. Narcissistic parents in particular want their children to believe this. These people fail to realize this isn’t what Biblical honor means.
To honor someone means to give them respect. Respect is all that is necessary for honoring. Even the most dishonorable parent can be given the simple respect of their position in your life by acknowledging their position as your parents, being civil to them & not using or abusing them. This is what God says parents deserve, whether they are good or bad, & as Christians, this is what we should do.
When you have good, loving parents, naturally you will want to do that & even more to show your love & appreciation for them. When you have abusive parents however, just as naturally, you won’t want to do more for them, & that is ok! So long as you show your parents those simple displays of respect, you are honoring them!
Also, Christians are commanded to love others as ourselves according to Mark 12:31. If you know anything about what the Bible has to say on the topic of love, it is clearly nothing like what many people think it is. Godly love isn’t about obedience & enabling bad behavior. It is about doing what is best for people, even when that is difficult & even when they think what you’re doing is a mistake.
Honoring parents also doesn’t mean putting them above God in your life. God comes first, period! Proverbs 3:6 in the Living Bible says, “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” It’s pretty obvious that He must come first!
Narcissistic parents often want their children (no matter their age) to do things that go against the children’s beliefs or morals. For Christians, doing such things would be a huge mistake! Acts 5:29 in the New International Version says, “Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” No one, not even parents, should be obeyed before God! Another verse to prove this is Matthew 6:24, also in the New International Version: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
While I never tell people “just go no contact” because each situation is unique, I do want to include some information on that topic for those who either have gone no contact or are considering no contact with their narcissistic parents. Sometimes the most honorable thing you can do is to walk away from abusive parents. Years ago, I was seriously considering going no contact with my parents long before I actually did it. I was conflicted though, because I felt that couldn’t be honoring them. One of the things God spoke to me at that time was sometimes walking away is the most honorable thing you can do. It provides consequences for bad behavior, which are meant to teach a lesson. Granted, that doesn’t usually work with narcissists, but that is the way things are supposed to work. And, even if they don’t learn from the consequences, by giving them, you are still doing things God’s way, because you are trying to help your parents learn that they need to improve their behavior. You also are removing an opportunity for your parents to sin when you eliminate them from your life. Without you around to abuse, they will sin less simply because they haven’t got the opportunity to abuse you.
Don’t let anyone convince you that you aren’t honoring your parents if you aren’t doing things exactly their way. Consider what I have said on the topic, read your Bible & pray about the topic for yourself. I wish you the best!
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