Honouring Parents

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In Exodus 20:12, it is stated:

Honour thy father and thy mother

What does honour mean? It seems pretty vague and open to a wide spectrum of interpretation. The dictionary defines it as showing respect, but then again, what does it mean to show respect for someone?

Can someone reasonably go as far as saying it is dishonouring one’s parents to not do one’s chores? What if one decides not listen to marital advice received from one’s father? What if one’s mother is phoning for the sixth time today, and one refuses to answer the phone?

5 thoughts on “Honouring Parents

  1. I’ve always defined the principle of honouring thy father and mother as valuing them. You can still value your parents even when that means you can’t overcome your own laziness to do the chores. Or ignore a ridiculous number of possibly prying phone calls.

    I don’t believe showing respect for someone means we blindly follow. It goes two ways, it is both given and earned and thusly taken away when the principle is applied unjustly. Free will trumps advice, even when given by one’s father.

  2. man I wish my mom called me 6 times a day :)

    To me honouring is respecting.. they go hand in hand.. being respectful to your parents is listening to them when they give you advice, it doesn;t mean you have to follow the advice but it means you listen. Honouring your parents is never “dirtying” their name. It’s never badmouthing them to others. Honouring your parents is telling them you love them and telling them often.

    Honouring your parents is teaching your children to mind their grandparents, to listen to them, to follow their leadership (providing that is done righteously of course).

  3. So how do you honor/value your parents if they are unquestionably abusive, evil people? Are you released from the principle?

  4. Sue M

    In this case, there is a lot more to overcome. This is my personal opinion on it, I don’t know what the “official” word would be, but in such cases, honouring our parents would be to forgive them for what they have done. And not for THEIR sakes, but for our sakes. This is where the Atonement comes into effect.

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