“Honour your father and your mother; so that your days may be long on the land which Yahweh your Father has given you.” Exodus 20:12
This is the only commandment that has a promise attached to it. The apostle Paul reiterated this decree from Almighty Yahweh:
“Children, obey your parents in Yahweh, for this is right. ‘Honour your father and mother’; which is the only commandment with a promise. So that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2-3
It is important to obey your parents, respect them and honour their rules while living under their roof. This should also extend to the parents of your friends and relatives. After you are grown up and move out of home, you should continue to respect your father and mother, and help them in their old age.
The kind of assistance depends on their needs:
If they are financially able, you do not have to give them money, but you can buy them gifts.
If they need financial assistance, arrangements should be made — with all siblings chipping in — to provide for them.
If they are too old to live on their own or manage household chores or errands, you can either invite them to live with you or move them to an elderly people’s home, or hire a housekeeper for them.
When they are sick, you should care for them.
Visit them often and let them spend time with their grandchildren, especially during vacations.
Parents also have a great responsibility toward their children. Discipline is important, and children should be taught good manners, kindness, respect and obedience.
“Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.” Proverbs 29:15
“Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.” Proverbs 19:27
However, there’s a fine line between discipline and abuse, and respect should go both ways, with parents honouring their children’s individuality and understanding that they too, require privacy. There should be boundaries as to how intrusive a parent can be in a child’s life.
What if a parent or both parents are sexually, verbally or physically abusive, rude, disrespectful, and mistreat you as a child or young adult? Do you have to care for them in their old age?
It is not wise to remain in a toxic environment or associate with people who are nasty to you. In this case, the best thing to do is:
Maintain a respectful distance from your parents — you do not have to visit them or invite them to your home, functions or send your children to visit them.
As long as you do not insult them or disrespect them, you have the right to exclude them from your life.
If they require monetary assistance, you can offer to help them, but you do not have to.
If they apologise for their past evildoing, and are genuinely contrite, you can choose whether or not you still want them to be a part of your life.
You are under no obligation to maintain a relationship with parents who are abusive.
If one of your parents was abusive or mistreated you, and you’re wondering if you should cut him/her off and include the other one in your life, ask yourself: “Was he/she aware of the cruelty and did not intervene?” If the answer is yes, then he/she also contributed to your misery.
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of Yahweh.” Ephesians 6:4
(see The Great Deception, The Ten Commandments, The Second Commandment, The 12 Deadly Sins, Shroud of Turin and Keeping the Sabbath holy)