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This article was published November 15, 2012 at 3:51 a.m.

— DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I know the Bible says somewhere that we ought to honor our parents, but how can you do that when they’ve hurt you and even said they don’t want anything more to do with you? I want to do what’s right, but I’m not sure what it means in my case.

  • D.S.

DEAR D.S.: You are referring to one of the Ten Commandments, which were given by God to provide us with a moral and spiritual foundation for our lives. The commandments says, “Honor your father and your mother... that it may go well with you” (Deuteronomy 5:16).

To honor someone means to treat them with respect - not necessarily because they are perfect, but because God has given them a place in your life. You only have one father and mother, and in spite of their faults, God gave them to you - and he gave you to them. No one else (except your siblings) has this relationship with them, and you should respect them because of it.

Pray for your parents; prayer is one of the best ways to honor them. Do what you can to hold the door open to reconciliation. Don’t hold on to resentment, anger or bitterness; they’ll only hurt you. If you need to seek forgiveness for anything you did wrong, do so. The Bible says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).

Does this mean you overlook their faults or pretend your parents are different than they really are? No. But it does mean you do everything you can to let them know you are thankful they brought you into the world, and you care what happens to them. Thanksgiving would be a good time to express this.

Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at

Weekend, Pages 34 on 11/15/2012




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