By Bob Hardison
Q: I know the Bible teaches us to honor our parents, but my father was always critical of my brothers, my sister and I. His selfishness left a wide path of destruction in our family. Given the fact of how he treated us, do I still have to honor him?
A: When God told us to “honor father and your mother” (Ex. 20:12), he did not follow that command with the phrase, “if they are good parents.” Even if your mother was a “terrible mother” and your father was bad news, they still are your parents, and the command to honor them comes from God. If you don’t, you are sinning!
So how can we show them honor? Three ways come to mind:
1. Give them emotional honor. Take the time to go and visit with them. If one of them is in a care center, drop in to see them as often as possible. Giving your parents some of your time is extremely important.
2. Bestow upon them verbal honor. Don’t contradict or belittle them with your words. Whether your parent is right or wrong, you are still to speak to them with respect.
3. Help them financially as needed. When your parents can no longer take care of their needs, you should step in and help. Your assistance may mean the difference between their eating properly and having the medicine they need.