"Honor Thy Mother and Father"



I’ve never posted on these forums. Let me tell you a little about myself. I have two sons, 5 1/2, and 2 1/2 adopted from Russia. I was hoping that someone here could answer this question for me.

At what point, are you not sinning if you are not “honoring your mother and father”? My mother has some mental illness, for which she is not getting help and refuses to do so. She has alienated her family and friends, and has taken my father with her.

She is very hateful, and I don’t think that it is good for my boys to be around her. She dislikes immigrants, she dislikes special education (my younger son was just diagnosed with neurological impairments and mental retardation), and really doesn’t like kids. She hasn’t seen mine in 4 months. My older boy is starting to pay attention to waht is going on, and he’s starting to notice if Grandma is around for a month or two and then not for a few months. She gets mad at me and doesn’t bother with the boys.

What would you do? AT what point does protecting and nurturing my boys become more important than them having ties with my mother?

Any input would be appreciated. do you know the church’s interpretation of this commandment?



Well the Church gives us an order of importance in our lives, which may help you. God first, spouse second, children third, family and friends fourth. Honoring your parent is different than obeying. Be loving, but if it is not safe (physically or mentally) for your children to be around your parents, then your priority to your children comes first. You will be held more accountable for how you raise your children than for your relation with your parents. Be kind and always fill your parents in on your life (via a nice letter) but until things are safe you can keep an arms length away.


Balance “Honor Thy Father and Mother” with “For this reason shall a man leave his mother and fahter, and cleave unto his wife.”:slight_smile:


Pray for your mother. If she doesn’t want counseling, you can’t make her. You also cannot subject yourself and your kids to her negativity. It doesn’t make you a bad daughter, respect her, but keep your distance if need be and pray, pray, pray!


Thank you all for your input. This is something that nags at me when I say the Our Father with my son, too, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. It’s less that I’m not forgiving her for old things, it’s that I’m trying to keep my kids from the things that she thinks that don’t change.

I will pray for her. Thank you for your suggestions, and thank you for pointing out other parts of the Bible that will help me to balance this!:slight_smile:


I, too, had this problem.:frowning:

My mother had always been verbally abusive toward me but she suspended her negativity toward my kids. For many years she was a relatively sweet grandmother toward them.

That changed when I moved close to her. She became hateful and started treating them with the same manipulation that she used on me.

While the abuse was directed at me, I took it. When it came against my children, I had to break off ties with her.

It just about killed me. Despite her behavior, I loved my mom. But I had to protect my kids.

My mother died six months later, alone in her trailer. I am saddened at this but I do believe that I did the correct thing in protecting my kids.


It always makes me sad when I think about people whose relationships with their parents have broken down for whatever reason :(. I enjoy a good relationship with both my parents and I value their counsel. But I recognize that there are some people seem incapable or being good parents. I agree with the others in this forum; your first responsibility is to your children; far more harm can be done to them by your mother than you do your mother by not seeing her (or at least not with your children). The only thing I would add is that while clearly your kids should not be around her, it might be a good idea if you visited her by yourself from time to time.



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