Small Town America

Small Town America

Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother

       Exodus 20:12 is said to be the first commandment with promise.  It says, “Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God hath given thee.”  We would say, honor your father and mother so you can enjoy a long life.

     Sometimes honoring our parents or grandparents can be a difficult thing.  So many children are raised in incredibly dysfunctional homes.  Some are abused, (both physically and emotionally) neglected, sexually assaulted or even tortured by the ones who brought them into this world.  How do you honor someone like that?

     I was raised in one of those homes.  My father was an alcoholic and my mother was too co-dependant to protect us.   The emotional and mental abuse was terrible.  The physical abuse,  not so bad.  I grew up feeling like I was a worthless, stupid girl because I heard that many times every day.  When you hear a lie often enough, to you it becomes the truth.  Everything bad that ever happened in our house was somehow my fault.  I was the youngest of five children and a sickly child to0.


     It has taken years of inner healing and counseling to be able to talk freely about my childhood.  In fact this is the very first time I have mentioned it publically.  There are still days that I have to look in the mirror and quote God’s word in order to believe the truth about myself.   Father God speaks much differently than my earthy father did.

     Thanks be to God that I found Jesus at seventeen years old.  He has restored my life and enabled me to still honor my parents.   I know they loved me on some level and I know they thought they were doing the best they could.  Maybe that was their best without the knowledge of Jesus.

    At any rate, I honor them for who they are.  God could have placed me in any family ; but He chose this one.  I respect them for always providing for me.  I never went hungry and I never was without clothing.  In fact Mom made most of my clothes and they looked better than store bought ones.  She could look at a catalogue, take her old pattern pieces and make the dress or blouse just like the one the picture.  She was a great cook and always ready to help the needy.  She really was a good person and later in life became a Christian.  She simply didn’t know basic parenting skills.  Her parents died when she was young and she was raised by a sister and her alcoholic husband.  Need I say more in her defense?


     Whenever my dad was at his job or socializing, people loved him.  They would have never recognized that man that I lived with.  Still, he had some good qualities as well.  He was a good provider.  He wouldn’t let anyone else hurt us.  He did his drinking at home, thus sparing us much public embarrassment.  He took us to the beach a few times.  He also took us on one big family vacation to visit relatives in New Mexico.   I do have a few good memories of him, so, I can honor and respect him for some things.

      At some point, if we desire to be all we can for Jesus, we must forgive our parents for their mistakes and cruelty and learn to respect and honor them for their good qualities.  Only Jesus can show you how to do this and only He can give you the grace to walk in the truth of who you are.  I won’t tell you it is easy, but it is possible.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Donna

    I came from a home of total control by him and she was and is yet so co-dependent. The grown family is not close and they try nothing to even have their grown adult childen and grandchildren over for any of the holidays. It is ashame they even had children.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment laverne robertson

    Honey you just basically told our story. I am the first born of 6 children and we went thru this. Our dad was an alcho abuser and our mother was scary she would not stand up to him at all. I was the mother cause mamma had a break down and lived a life of fear and I was a daddy’s girl althou after I was about 9 on I began to hate my father because he made mom cry all the time. It was so embaressn and I began to not like mother because she was so weak..she was mean to us but took great care of us (phyically only). We never got councln but my baby brother got on drugs and I ended up in abusive relationsp. but not for long. I remain single because I can’t bare any crazy relationsp. I have 2 grown kids and several grands to keep me plenty busy..and of course The Lord..My father became my best friend when I became an adult and he is passd on now but mother is still mother and still mean but I love her and have forgivn her years ago. At times I feel I could still use some counclin but I’m 59 now so like JESUS said “IT IS DONE”. Seek help while you will change things..and pray daily..

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Virginia Keeble Morrison

    I can relate to this article. My Mother had her favorites, mainly my oldest sister. She even told me the year before I left TN. that she cared more for Karen that she did any of the rest of us, I had four sisters and I was the second one.My response to her was that was “That’s a nice thing to say to me, considering I was your 2nd born.” She didn’t become a Christian until she was in her late 60s. I would talk to her about what she had said to me all those years ago and she denied ever saying it.When she became sick about a year and half before her death. My son told me I was moving back to TN to take care of her, I told him I was not going to do so.She even called me a horrible name one afternoon while my brother-in-law was laughing about it. I should have got up and left, stayed there, that is my Mother. I loved her so much and helped her even more so as I lived with her after a divorce to a very good man. I had her 1st grandchid & a boy, she thought the boy was hers. She was a huge part of my divorce from the only man I ever loved. I’ve been single since 1973 and now she is gone from me. Every time I go to visit her grave, something happens to my car, I stopped going there. My Dad, I always knew he loved me. we would go places and do things together. I learned how to change a tire and oil on a car from him, car parts,building things, alot about his personal life before he married my Mother. I have his ashes in my home with me. When I die, my wish is to be cremated and our ashes put together and taken to the ocean, our fvorite place to be. I miss him so much. when my Mother died, we buried her on May 11th,what would have been his 85th birthday.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lisa D. Gillespie

    God sure does know that I needed this so despreatly, I’ve honor them in spite of my abuse, in all sense of the word! I know they did the best they could, with what they were given! The only thing is I still wait for a crumb (love) to fall off the table, like a starved dog! I just have to remind myself that Im loved uncontionally by My Lord & Savior! Thank you God!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sandy Wong

    This story is more based the same but only difference is i was kick out by father when i was 12years the eldest in the family of 9.I do honour my mom which my dad left us at age 50years old.God says forgiveness and love them but this is say than to be done. Is hard to really love them when there are so many hurts left in our lives. Pray to God for inner strenght as he is a God of light.

  • dhanny

    I’m not sure what Coda is. I found my help through church groups and counseling. It took a miraculous touch from Jesus to get me past all the hurt. Also, it’s important to understand that forgiveness is an act of the will, something you choose to do. Your emotions will catch up after some healing occurs. God bless you.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lynne

    I can totally relate to this article. The same thing happened to me. I am in Coda. Is there anything else I can join to over come these issues?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Patricia

    I am very touched by this story. In fact just this moring a friend said her mother gave her away, and I told her to count her blessings, her mother did not give her away, she only provided a better life for her, and she is the better for it, which she agreed.

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