How Can You Honor Your Parents as an Adult?

Ephesians 6:1 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

When you are little, you obey your mother and father. However, when you leave your parents to become an adult, and then marry and establish your own family into which you welcome children, your parents should no longer give you commands that you obey. 

If you have a healthy relationship with wise and mature parents, you can and should seek their wise counsel but not have them tell you what to do when you are 37 in the same way as when you were seven.

Sometimes, our parents and grandparents mean well but do not understand the pressure they are putting on a young couple. When both sides of the extended family have expectations, even good ones out of love, such as everyone getting together on Christmas morning at their house, it pulls the younger couple apart and causes tension that can lead to division in their marriage and family. 

When two extended families pull in opposite directions on the younger married couple, that couple is in what counselors call a “double bind”. A double bind is an impossible position where no matter what decision you make, you lose. 

As an adult, you should leave your mother and father. Before you are ready to marry, or have a child, you need a season of taking care of yourself as a responsible adult to prepare you to take care of others. 

Throughout life, in every season, a child is supposed to honor their mother and father. What makes this more difficult is the fact that some parents are not honorable, which makes it difficult to honor them. In the military, there is a concept of saluting the uniform. What this means is that, even if you do not respect the person in the uniform, you can at least respect the uniform. 

If you had honorable parents, you were blessed in a way that most people are not. If you inherited a legacy of faith, God is calling you to build on that for future generations. If you do not come from a legacy of faith and healthy marriage and family, God is calling you to be the first link in a new chain for future generations. 

What example do you want to set for your own children by how you treat your parents?

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