The 5th Commandment – Part II

In Church, Family, Scripture, Testimonies on October 2, 2008 at 8:26 pm

The 10 Commandments, courtesy of the Library of Congress

Click here for today’s feature:

The 5th Commandment challenges children to honor parents, but what are our obligations to this charge as adult children, and what if our parents are not honorable?  Guests include James McDonald of Providence Church and RC Sproul Jr. of the Highlands Study Center.

If you’d like to listen to the first part of this two part series, click here:

If you’d like to read James McDonald’s tribute to his father mentioned in today’s feature, click here.

  1. I appreciated this discussion. This is one of those areas that has been difficult in our family- finding a way of honoring my mother in law, while distancing our family- for the sake of the family. While we love my husband’s mother, she has repeatedly tried to drive a wedge between my husband and I, to the point where my husband has had to confront her on it. She claims to be a believer, and yet- the bad fruit of her actions and her outright contempt for our family has not supported her claim. We remain in prayer for her bitter and bruised spirit. She has had a difficult time letting her son “go”- although it’s been 12 years since our wedding. (My father in law was very ill for most of my husband’s teenage years, and my mother in law developed an unhealthy attachment to my husband- emotionally relying on him as if he were the husband, rather than the child. And because of that, this is why we believe she has really had a problem with my relationship to my husband. I was a jewel to her until the day my husband announced his engagement to me.) I know my husband, in particular, has had a difficult time finding that balance in honoring his parents because of the outright disregard his mother has for his “new” family. She is very good at beating in the phrase “You are to honor me”… It almost did break our family apart, and my husband (with the help of his own father) finally had to tell her enough is enough. It was very difficult on him because he felt horrible in having to tell her that- but he also felt that God’s call to his “new” family was not to be disregarded for her benefit either. He felt the Lord would not honor him if he allowed his mother to break apart our family because of her bitterness and anger. He still loves her, calls her often, will seek her advice on some issues, helps her whenever he can, and tries to show her that she is still very important to him… yet, it’s not enough for her. It used to be that every time he got off the phone with her he was beaten down and depressed. She is very practiced in laying on the guilt (even if it is ill-placed.) My husband has said time and again, that for the sake of our family, he is thankful that the Lord has put our family in His service 1800 miles away from her. It’s been a very trying 12 years in our marriage when all we have wanted was a good relationship with BOTH his mother and father. Yet, having a mother in law who has had nothing but evil to say of her only son’s wife, who outright denies his children, and who has made it clear that she wants no one but herself in her son’s life. She has caused not only problems with her son’s family, but with her husband over this issue as well. It truly is a sad situation. I did not, and still do not, want my husband to have to choose between his mother and his bride. No man should have to do that. However, I am thankful for the stand he has taken in protecting our family by deciding that the cost of his mother’s intervening was not worth the price of his relationship with his wife and children. I appreciate this series, and am forwarding it to my husband. I think he will be blessed by listening to it! Thank you!

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