On the subject of honoring dishonorable parents, I heard a saying from my wife’s family:
“It’s a poor bird that poops in its own nest.”
We have a bluebird house in our yard and my kids have found it fascinating how these birds keep their home clean. Baby birds go to the bathroom in a white, diaper-like sack. The parents take these “diapers” out of the nest to keep the place clean. The bluebird will fly to a far away place and dump the trash. You can find these little, white, dried up balls of baby droppings on top of fence posts around the property.
Only a sick bird messes in the nest
Some humans do not have the sense of a bluebird. They dump on the whole family. People who gripe about their parents are sick birds. You cannot have a conversation with them without their dropping some bad story about how bad dad was or how hateful mom had been. What they forget is that they have to live in this nest they are filling with their droppings.
The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. (Proverbs 30:17)
Forget your parents’ faults
To get over sick-bird syndrome you have to first admit that your parents are not responsible any longer for your faults. You cannot keep sweeping up your mistakes by blaming dad. You cannot mop up your miseries with mom any more. Forgive them. Take out the trash and stop bringing up everything they want to forget, too.
A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. (Proverbs 11:13)
Like the bluebird, remove family messes far away and do not go back to them again.
Stop living in the past
Some people can be half a century removed from their childhood yet keep holding themselves down with it. Parents may be dead and gone, yet they only resurrect them to condemn them. Step up to the present by letting all those hurts go in weeping forgiveness. Such a person should admit that he may have made the same mistakes (and probably has) given the same circumstances. At the foot of the cross, let the Lord wash away all your bitterness.
He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. (Proverbs 11:29)
Stop messing on your future
You guarantee that your children will complain about you if you try to make your parents look bad to them. You cannot punish your parents by revealing their secrets. You only punish yourself. Your kids will do what you do—resurrect all your mistakes instead of retain your good moments.
Do not dishonor parents in front of their own children. Why mess someone else’s nest? If you need to talk to a person about their flaws, do it away from the nest.
Rejecting all authority
Most people who dishonor their mother and father also disrespect all those in authority. The one who complains about parents probably also speaks against preachers and civil leaders. He or she is probably very critical of his or her own children, too. Usually a person who condemns everyone else is not happy with his or her own self.
There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. (Proverbs 12:18)
How you treat your parents reflects on your view of God, too. What you say against mom and dad is what you are saying against the Lord, for He is the ultimate Parent. Your earthly parent-child relationship is patterned after the original, heavenly one.
Put your parents in their place
When you stop tearing down your family you will stop destroying your own self. Instead of being one of the fools who messes in his own nest by arguing with you folks to put them in their place, do what God asks of you. Put them in their proper place—the place of honor. Instead of ridiculing, condemning, or criticizing, find something to complement them about. Celebrate the good while overlooking the bad. You are not responsible for how your parents turn out, just how you respond. That understanding will help you learn how to honor your parents even if they are dishonorable.
I give thanks and credit to two wonderful parents who love me. We have had our share of misunderstandings, mistakes, and contentions like many families, but I can honestly say my heart is full of gratitude toward the people who put up with all my faults. I can do the same for them, if they have any.
I encourage you to read this hope-filled story of one man who had every reason to hate his deadbeat dad. Instead, his life blossomed to the fullest because he discovered the secret of scripture: how to honor dishonorable parents.