About Honoring Parents

It’s Narcissist Friday!     


I am traveling, but I wanted to share something I wrote a while back regarding the question of honoring parents.  In our context, this can be challenging.  Think about this:


I believe that I honor my parents when I become a healthy, functioning adult and when I am able to pass that health on to my children or to use that health to bless the people around me.  It does not honor them for me to continue their brokenness through my life.  Even if they don’t see the need for me to be a person separate from them, I still must be able to establish and maintain boundaries, own and value my feelings, make independent decisions, and learn to share myself as a real person with others.  If, through their narcissism, my parents have dishonored themselves, I honor them best by finding a way to break the evil patterns in my life and in the lives of those who follow me.


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16 responses to “About Honoring Parents

  1. Beth

    Thank you so much for taking the time during your travels to share this. I was needing confirmation about how to handle yet another bully attack, and your post gave me the courage I needed to continue to stand firm and let God work.
    Blessings and safe travels! Thank you thank you

  2. Beth

    P.S. Even though it’s my ex, not my parents(dec.), it was still completely relevant.

  3. My siblings maintain that I am snubbing them by not wanting to visit with them. No, I want no part of a family that apparently condones the drunken rages of a father who abused our mother. It’s sick and yet they just want me to get along as they chastise me for cleaning up my life and wanting to please the Lord!

  4. Rebecca Kelly

    Boy, did I need to hear this today! I overeat when I’m around both my parents and both of them come at me with full force knocking down my boundaries. I need to carry this with me or memorize it. Thank you for the reminder!

  5. Amen! That is a perfect way to honor parents and honoring the Lord while maintaining safe boundaries, cutting generational sins, and establishing healthy relationships for the generations starting now. Bravo!

  6. CM

    For my daughter.

  7. I’ve wondered if God put me in the life of my first husband, sadly RAD and NPD, to break the cycle and generational curses in his family to birth and raise two God-honoring, kind, caring, honest, upright, loving, giving, generous, intelligent sons who are men of faith to carry on the surname with God-honoring victory? It hurts to see the choices their dad has made, and I will, out of knowing the price Jesus paid for me, never bite the baited hook of bitterness and hate or resent him, BUT God is alive and the love of Jesus powerful in them, and for that I praise God.

  8. Yes, I agree that this is true for all of our narcissistic family relationships, Speak the truth in love–to them and about them–and honor them by honoring the Lord Jesus Christ in our own lives. That includes protecting our hearts by protecting our boundaries. We then pass that down in our own family line and may possibly inspire siblings and their family line to a Godly life as well. Then pray, pray, pray!

  9. UnForsaken

    When I first read this awhile ago, a light bulb went on. This is a totally different definition of “Honor” than I was raised with. It was to obey without question, no matter what age, and never to think for yourself unless it brought them some kind of praise.

    I had also bought a well-meaning form of patriarchy. I was willing to praise people who didn’t even deserve it to pragmatically get them to behave better. Although that is still sometimes necessary, I needed to acknowledge the truth that I had been parentified to take on their responsibilities and that they had not raised me as a separate person. I needed to look up at God, not people. Honor always starts with God. If we honor Him, we will behave with true honor and care to all humanity. If we are purposefully trying to honor people, than even if it is a godly desire, it will likely go astray. Our goodwill and desires can be abused by not looking totally at Him. But if we are, we won’t be ignoring other’s true needs either. He’ll raise us up to walk on water, guide our blind selves through the dark in choices and actions toward others, but always directing us toward Himself.

    Taking responsibility only for our own actions, breaking old patterns, We Look Up! ❤

  10. Michelle

    This is exactly what I needed to hear. I struggle with this almost constantly.

  11. KT

    Short and so profound!! Timely post. I was wondering if was wrong for not being there my mothers every beck and call when she feels pitiful for herself. I decided as a single parent, that I just couldn’t! Not enough time or energy. I will get used to my new found freedom.

  12. The commandment to honor my mother kept me bound to her, and kept me sick, for decades. I write about this issue extensively here: https://awordplease.org/2014/11/09/honor-thy-narcissistic-mother-the-4th-commandment-and-going-no-contact/

    • Hisdaughter

      Thank you so much for sharing this Misty. I was a great encouragement to me. I’ve recently again been on the verge of a nervous breakdown and needed manage my chronic health issues more closely due to an interaction with my parents. I had to tell my dad not to ever call me again unless he was going to be civil. Should my parents ever call again, if I decide to answer the phone it will be put on speaker so my husband can hear everything.

      • New Creature

        My husband, his sister and respective spouses made a pact: 1) always put N MIL on speaker and have a witness to ALL conversations they have with her. 2) let each other know by phone or text the content of any conversations they have with her. Doing these 2 things has disarmed her almost completely. It has taken all the power out of her splitting behavior. (She lied to both of her kids about the other one and turned them against each other for 25 years!!! Her own children! Once they realized what she was doing they vowed to never let her come between them again and they are closer than ever.)

  13. Love this perspective! Claiming it for my own. Thank you! ❤

  14. Mark

    Recently lost my dad. Although he was emotionally abusive, he apparently would protect people from my mom, who has become more and more toxic as her “filter” has disappeared. I’m concerned for my sister whose role as the codependent caregiver has put her in the hospital twice, but despite that we are having a very hard time figuring out how to protect her from my mom’s guilt trips. They are inseparable.

    We live far enough away from the toxicity that we can choose when to visit and subject ourselves to it, as well as mentally prepare for the kinds of situations that have come up in the past. For the most part, that has worked well.

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