Honor thy Father and thy Mother is not just a commandments for the kids. Who would imagine as we grow up and move away this simple commandment would end up becoming more of a test of will and might, as an adult than it did as children?

As kids we have to listen, follow directions, do our chores, and speak to our parents with respect. I would say as children, this is our mortal combat challenge! What about as adults? Dead beat dads and absent mothers are one thing as kids but what do we do when we grow up and they are still around? What about grandparents that could care less about their grandkids, and make decisions which are contrary to the faith? Today, we are also faced with nursing homes, and putting away our parents and forgetting about them, like an old toy placed on a shelf.

The Parents or the Children

What happens when the parent is more like the child? When they assume more of a role needing supervision then most middle school children. I see it with some members of my own family. It strikes me funny because, I can recall as a teenager, older members of the family referring to “children having children”. They however, were referring to the beginnings of more and more teenagers becoming sexually active and getting pregnant. What is the excuse of the adults who had kids and can’t parent?

Regardless of what messed up things our parents have done to us or in a lot of cases not done for us. The greatest gift God presented to us through our parents, is life. Today in society, with the scourge of abortion, any parent who allowed their child to be born is better than most. What happens to those children born to parents who could care less about what they have been entrusted? When you grow up with parents who basically abandon you to the chances of the world or worse abuse you throughout life rather physically or verbally.

Honoring crappy parents

Honoring parents who have in some way hurt you is not easy. Our natural desire to walk away, to remove them from our lives and to put it blunt, to hate them is first in our mind. As Catholic’s though we never take the easy road! You don’t have to go and have dinner with them, you don’t even need to call them every week and tell them how life is going. You don’t have to agree or accept their decisions in life. But we must love them! They are the parents who gave you life. Remember their souls in prayer. If they are a danger to your or your family, keep them away in that regards. But we must remember them before the Throne of God.

Honor thy Father and thy Mother does not just apply to kids

Honoring thy Father and thy Mother does not just apply to the kids. It applies to us all and during all times in our lives. We are justified in having feelings of anger, in some instances, for the harm done to us but we can continue to honor our parents by doing some of the following:

  • Have a Mass said for them (Living or Deceased) this allows for healing on both you and your parent.
  • Pray for them daily
  • Perform acts of mortification through fasting and prayer. They will be held accountable for their actions and will need your prayers
  • Offer forgiveness and let go of the anger and hate, sometimes we need to tell them, rather they can or will accept what they did. We might need to see a councilor to help us with some situations but for our own good, we must forgive
  • Resolve to use their example of parenting to define ours – Yes, you read that correctly. Their bad example can help us by remaining front in center of how not to be.

I remember a priest once commenting to me, “One of them needs to be the Christ” when referring to two people who were in a disagreement. Through your sacrifice you may accomplish more than what you anticipated.

If you like below are some resources to help with parenting and healing.

Our Not-Quite-Holy Family: A Practical Guide for Catholic Parents

Parenting With the Beatitudes – Eight Holy Habits For Daily Living by Jeannie and Ben Ewing

Priestly Fatherhood – Treasure in Earthen Vessels

Healing Prayers For Every Day

If you need further help through counseling or possibly other situations try Catholic Charities, they are based on income so don’t let money stop you! Reach out and see what they can do for you. If you need further help or are having a problem finding help, we would love to help through prayer, and if possible locate people in your area to help. Disclaimer we are not licensed in offering any counseling, or legal advice.