Honor Your Parents

Q. I read, understand and appreciate the 5th commandment, but how far does it go? Does it permit parents to choose who you marry? And if not parents choice, do they have the right to attempt to terminate the marriage? Do parents have the rights to inhibit your education so that you never exceed their understanding, ambitions or wealth? Do parents have the right to tell you when to have children? Or even to suggest an abortion? Does a mother have the right to steal your future because she breast fed you? Do a parent’s desires take priority over your spouse? Do parents have the right to curse you if you don’t go along with whatever they decree? These are just some of the ruling cultures in many pentecostal churches here.

A. Honoring your parents means you don’t bring embarrassment or shame to them. It doesn’t mean you have to do everything they say after you become an adult. Genesis 2:24 says when you get married you leave your father and mother and form a new family with your wife. At that point your primary responsibility is to her, as her responsibility is to you (Ephes. 5:22-28). The 5th Commandment does not give parents the right to control the life of their adult married children. Some of the things you listed may be matters of culture in some parts of the world, but none of them are Biblical mandates. And since abortion is the murder of a child no one can use the Bible’s authority to suggest that.

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