Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
[[The following is an excerpt from the A Teen's Guide to the 5 Love Languages. Thanks to Moody Publishers for the permission to reprint the following]].
Breaking news: parents and teenagers don’t have to clash on everything. It’s not a moral or legal obligation. Some people expect that the parent-teen relationship will be strained, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. While that stretch of time before you leave home can have its share of explosions, as you’re asserting your independence and your parents are weaning their control of your life and decisions, it doesn’t have to be filled with tension, arguments, and disrespect. So if you’re at peace with your parents, don’t start a nuclear war on principle.
Ideally, love should flow from parent to child. When this consistently takes place and children genuinely feel loved, it is easy for them to honor their parents. However, kids who felt unloved, abandoned, or abused may struggle to honor their parents. Understandably.
Honoring your parents DOES NOT
1. mean painting over the past, pretending it didn’t happen; 2. mean placing yourself in a position for more abuse (it’s important to make and keep wise boundaries); 3. instantly heal a strained relationship; 4. suggest taking responsibility for your parents or even for the parent-child relationship.
But honor DOES enhance a good relationship and breathe some life back into a dying one. When you choose to honor your parents, you pick out something specific and genuine that they did well for you, and you publicly thank and acknowledge them for that.
We may feel deeply hurt by our parents. We may feel abandoned, disappointed, frustrated, and even depressed, but we can still express love to them. Love is an attitude that takes action.