In the past few years, many of my beliefs have changed. Included among my new beliefs is what it means to keep the commandment to honor parents. I will share an honoring parents example to explain there is no honor without honesty.
Defining the word honor
Prior to sharing my honoring parents example, I desire to include the dictionary’s meaning of the word “honor”.
honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions. – dictionary.com
I recently learned the hard way that the best way to honor parents is by being honest.
Dampen my joy
Throughout the years I was raising my children, I would have frequent conversations with my mom about various subjects. Of course, part of those conversations was the activities and accomplishments of my six children. When I would joyfully share the things my children were doing, my mom would sometimes respond positively, but other times she would immediately start talking about one of my children’s cousins and their accomplishments.
For years, every time my mom would dampen my joy, by comparing my kids to a cousin close to their age, it hurt my feelings. I knew it was inconsiderate and impolite, but I had this incorrect belief because she was my mom, I had to tolerate her comparisons. Therefore, I never expressed how I felt, until finally, at age 59, I decided it was way past time, to be honest.
Honoring parents example story introduction
I was telling my mom that my son’s little boy (her great-grandson) had inherited her combination of blue eyes with dark hair and that he was a handsome little guy. Rather than acknowledging the complimentary comments about my son’s
After this conversation with my mom, I was having flashbacks about reoccurring disappointments when sharing a joyful moment with my mom. In order to cope and protect myself from disappointment, I learned it was better to listen to my mom’s joys and remain silent about mine. This unhealthy pattern had affected me negatively for way too long.
Honoring means being honest
I picked up the phone and called my mom back. I began explaining what honoring parents means and told her that beginning now, I was going to honor her by being honest.
I asked my mom, “How would you feel when sharing your excitement about an awesome book you are reading with your book group if I didn’t acknowledge your joy, but instead tried to trump your book by talking about a “better” book I had read, or if I started talking about an awesome theatrical production I loved right after you shared how much you enjoyed attending this really wonderful production with your friends?” She went quiet and then responded she wouldn’t like it.
No longer participate conversations that dampen my joy
I expressed how hurtful it is when she makes indirect comparisons rather than being happy I am sharing a moment of joy with her. I explained it is like she has the need to dampen my joy by “trumping” it in some fashion. I then said, “I have allowed this type of treatment for many years but moving forward if this happens, I will point out what is happening and then close the conversation.”
My mom apologizes
My mom said, “I didn’t realize I was hurting you. I am sorry.” Wow, that was a wake-up call to realize she didn’t recognize what she was doing. It was still easy to forgive her, probably because I felt amazing after finally expressing my hurt feelings that I had carried for many years.
This honoring parents example demonstrates the sometimes unnecessary burdens children can carry for years with the incorrect understanding parents have to be tolerated thinking this
I would have been emotionally healthier if I would have understood it is not dishonoring parents by kindly, but firmly, confronting with honesty. I have felt tremendous relief since I finally expressed my honest feelings.
When parents cater to a child, the result is a spoiled child. The same is true when children cater to a parent, the result is a spoiled parent. I think it is a good idea to assess if you are an enabler in spoiling a child or a parent.
Afterward Afterward – Authentic
If you and I had been allowed to remain authentic as all are born with the natural ability to be authentic, it wouldn’t take years to figure out honoring parents means being honest, being authentic. Here is a link if you are interested in reading a previous blog I wrote about how children tell the truth and are the most authentic beings.
Top Featured Photo by Les Anderson