IT’S THE QUESTION OF THE WEEK.
It comes from Erin Drew.
She wins a free book for asking the question.
I have a girlfriend who lived with abuse by a stepfather and a mother who denied it….We had always heard so many sermons/read so many things about the commandment of honoring your parents, and it was the only commandment with an “or else” clause. It took years of living with the abuse for her to speak up and she still to this day feels guilty about doing so…. Where do you think people need to draw the line…at following the commandments to a T?
Honoring Ma and Pa is a big deal because it’s one of the 10 Commandments—the most basic laws in the Bible.
“Respect your father and your mother, and you will live a long time in the land I am giving you” (Exodus 20:12, CEV).
Paraphrasing it in the New Testament, Paul put it this way:
“Obey your father and your mother, and you will have a long and happy life” (Ephesians 6:2-3, CEV).
The “or else” clause Erin mentioned might be implied. It could read something like this:
“If you don’t obey your parents, you’re in for one sucker of a long and miserable life.”
Or a short and miserable life.
Either way, miserable.
Erin’s question is where to draw the line on obeying.
Draw it at abuse.
Here’s how the Mayo Clinic describes abuse:
Any intentional harm or mistreatment to a child under 18 years old is considered child abuse. Child abuse takes many forms, which often occur at the same time.
- Physical abuse. Physical child abuse occurs when a child is purposefully physically injured.
- Sexual abuse. Sexual child abuse is any sexual activity with a child, such as fondling, oral-genital contact, intercourse or exposure to child pornography.
- Emotional abuse. Emotional child abuse means injuring a child’s self-esteem or emotional well-being. It includes verbal and emotional assault — such as continually belittling or berating a child — as well as isolating, ignoring or rejecting a child.
- Neglect. Child neglect is failure to provide adequate food, shelter, affection, supervision, education or medical care.
Honor is a two-way street, as the Bible teaches it.
Kids aren’t the only ones told to show some respect.
Paul gave this advice to moms and dads:
- “Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them” (Ephesians 6:2, The Message).
- “Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits” (Colossians 3:21, The Message).
Erin, tell your friend not to bum out over turning in her stepdad.
First, it was the honorable thing to do.
If someone you care about is doing something wrong, you call them on it. That’s the first step to getting them help.
And if they can’t help themselves, you seek help for them.
In your friend’s case, she may have been trying to help her stepfather or her mother, or both.
Second, we’ve got to protect our bods.
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NLT).
When we’re in our growing up years, we aren’t designed as punching bags, sound absorbers, or sex toys.
If Mom or Dad suggest otherwise, the honorable response is to dial 911.
Abdul A'al al-Miligi
This is matching with the basic teachings of Islam 100%. Thanks Stephen. I shared your article on my Facebook page for general benefit.