Why and how do we honor our parents? What about neglected and abused children?


Very good question – it is different to honor than to obey.

For those living with Godly parents, Jesus is the model. He always honored his mother and earthly father (Joseph) and never brought shame or disrespect. Still, there was the instance in the temple where he did get his parents a bit upset, but it was to do the will of His Father in Heaven. Even then, Jesus went with Joseph and Mary when they told him to leave. Jesus waited to begin His earthly ministry until all of the other children in His home were probably grown or able to take care of themselves since Joseph probably died while Jesus was a teenager. He did not just leave them or forsake them. The highest form of honoring a parent was what Jesus did on the cross. Even then He made sure His mother would be taken care of, which is a good example of how even as adults we should honor our parents.

As far as the abused and neglected, it is a difficult situation…I am on the board of a Christian foster care agency that serves 3,000 kids abused and neglected and have to tell them about Christ. They have a hard time accepting the notion of a Father who cares because their own father’s here abused and beat them.

I would encourage you to have them work on forgiveness. That is the issues these kids have. Until they can forgive the hurt and pain they cannot ever honor (and maybe shouldn’t ever obey if the parent continues to neglect healthy behavior).

One thing that has worked well for us is having the teen write out how they have been wronged. It must be done with an adult whom they trust and they need to be given some time…a week or two and encourage them to be specific and write out how they were treated unfairly. A teen cannot be healed unless the infection is addressed which isn’t always easy. After they do this we have a trusted person (youth pastor, etc) whom the teens connect with sit with them and play the role of their parent…since most will never have a parent willing to do this. We let the kids go on and on and just get it out…and then we simply say…”you have a right to be angry and hate me, you did not deserve this and it was wrong.” Then we tell them, “Now it is your choice to let this control the rest of your life or take power over it and say “forgiven” and rip it up. It gives us a chance to explain how Christ chooses to look at all the things we do and then decide to say “forgiven” and destroy the records of those offenses.

I can tell you it doesn’t always work…but then again I have seen kids that are delivered from a lifetime of hurt once they realize they have the power over the past and the decision of how they will live the rest of their lives. It is something powerful you cannot describe until you personally witness it.

I pray for your success and I know the Holy Spirit will partner with you on this healing work

Pastor Brad