4th Commandment when it comes to troubled households

The one commandment that I have struggled with is the 4th commandment. Honor thy mother and father.

I come from a hard upbringing, raised by a single mother alongside multiple siblings and never had much contact with my father. In my adult life, things are rocky with my mother and I have more contact with my father yet keep my distance. I’ve considered many times cutting contact with my parents but I know I need to have forgiveness and patience. Yet we still need to have self preservation and not turn into doormats.

I recently had an altercation with my mother and the 4th commandment was on my mind. During some searching, I found this article on how us as Catholics can follow the 4th commandment in troubled circumstances.

Do you have any experience with finding a balance with your parents while adhering to your faith?

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Seems like good advice. Praying for parents as they are driving us nuts may be the only way to stay sane and civil!

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God bless you, Christian! I have list both my parents to death, and I enjoyed a peaceful upbringing. In his later years, especially, my Dad became difficult to deal with. I learned that arguing is never a good idea. I let him have his own opinion, and I declined to share mine. This lesson helped me to diffuse any arguments before they happened, despite my Dad’s desire to engage me in them. I shared this tip with my brother and my Dad told him, “You must be talking with Allan!”

Peace reigned from then on with my interactions with my Dad. Thank God. If he became more unpleasant than usual, I excused myself. Try it, maybe it will help you obey the 4th Commandment.

Correction: “lost” not “list”

This post is very timely. I am doing a Daily Devotional with my co-worker (though we do it once a week and not daily ; ) The one we are doing is based on a book titled, “5 Things to Pray for Your Parents.”

My co-worker, who is Protestant, does not have a great relationship with her parents, so she too is struggling with our 4th Commandment (their 5th Commandment).

We can’t change our loved ones. I think when we Pray for them, it makes it easier for us to forgive them.

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I just stay true to my faith.

Well boy can I ever weigh in on this. I’m estranged from my mother. I tried SO hard to keep myself safe while also staying in her life. I didn’t have the commandment in mind at the time. I just fiercely love my mother, obviously. I know she’s sick and I actually think she might have something evil hurting her. But no matter what I did, I couldn’t both know her and stay safe. She was killing me slowly. She even tried to take away God. That was the thing that made me know for certain that that had to be it. It felt like ripping a hole in my chest when I cut contact.

Recently I have been thinking of the 4th commandment and I know that honoring someone doesn’t necessarily mean staying with them. By setting consequences and boundaries with my mother, I AM honoring her. She needs this to grow and maybe be ok someday. Cutting contact with someone doesn’t mean you don’t forgive them. I forgive her with all my heart. It became a lot easier to do that when she wasn’t torturing me because she was 1000 miles away. I forgive her. I honour her. I remember her gifts to me and I know that she’s still in there.

Because I honour her, I’m going to let her see what her choices have wrought so that she might have a chance at improving. Because I honour her, I’m not going to let her try to destroy my relationship with God. She’s the one who taught me about God in the first place. The real her wouldn’t want the sick version of her to be given the opportunity to take that away from me.

I honour who she was before she got sick and I honour her by praying for her and grieving her absence from very far away in the safety of my own home. Honouring someone doesn’t mean letting them kill you. When someone behaves horribly, sometimes you can honour them by removing the opportunity to keep sinning so egregiously because they obviously can’t stop themselves