What are the boundaries of this commandment? And what represents a violation of it?
As young children, it means to obey one’s parents, not to lie to them, to honor the rules of the house, to not do anything that would cause them grief or humiliation, etc…
But what for adults who have long since left the nest and have a family of their own?
I ask this because I have been accused of violating it by a sibling. While I stand firm in my choice, I want to make sure I’m not standing firmly on a dung heap. Here is a little background:
My sibling and I, both grown adults with families, had a debate over a “hot topic” in Church teaching. The sibling (after a couple rounds of healthy debate) finally rebuked me for my “false interpretation of Church teaching”.
My spouse, reading this latest response was upset with the manner of that response, and sent my sibling a private email rebuking the behavior. My sibling, rather than responding back privately, took the issue to the entire family, demanding an explanation from me (sent to all other siblings (all adults) and parents) for my spouse’s chastisement.
I responded back to all that I supported it and that it was fully in line with the Church. And then I got bombarded with emails/phone calls belittling my spouse (“under attack from the devil”, “needs prayer”, brought into this family so we could pray for…”, “needs counseling”, etc…).
And now the actual issue I am inquiring about today: In response to what I perceived as disrespect to my spouse I drew a strict boundary. I pointed out to the family where I believed them to have been disrespectful to my spouse, either by action of lack of support (since this had now become a family-wide discussion at the liberty of my sibling). I demanded an apology and resolved to cut off all phone-communication until such apology was offered. I then privately contacted my parents and told them I was disappointed in their response and lack of response while my spouse was being singled out (that letter also pointed out issues from the past that had yet to be addressed by them regarding said sibling). I told my parents they owe my spouse an apology for being one-sided on the issue.
And that is when I was accused of violating “honor thy father and mother”.