21 Common Ways Children Dishonor Their Parents

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It is true that parents sometimes provoke their children to anger, but it is equally true that sometimes children dishonor their parents. Earlier this week I blogged about some common ways parents provoke their children to anger. The post sparked a lot of conversation among parents and children. A couple people asked me about the first part of Ephesians 6, where Paul commands children to obey and honor their parents. This is a follow-up post to the one written earlier. Now, posting a list like this is not designed to make children or parents feel guilty, but to help us know where we are, see our mistakes, ask for grace and to become 5% better. So, here are 21 common ways children dishonor their parents.

  1. Failing to obey their parents. Ephesians 6:1
  2. Cussing out their parents. Colossians 3:8
  3. Speaking evil of their parents. James 4:11
  4. Hitting their parents. Exodus 21:15
  5. Talking back to their parents Psalm 52:2-5
  6. Stealing from their parents/taking things without permission. Exodus 20:15
  7. Lying to their parents. Proverbs 26:28
  8. Rolling their eyes at their parents. Proverbs 15:5
  9. Sighing and huffing and puffing at their parents. Proverbs 15:5
  10. Walking away from their parents when the parents are still talking. Proverbs 15:5
  11. Yelling at their parents. Psalm 52:2-5
  12. Ignoring their parents when they ask a question or give instructions. Proverbs 23:22
  13. Being stubborn and rebellious. Deuteronomy 21:18-21
  14. Mocking their parents. 2 Kings 2:23-24
  15. Acting one way at home and then act a different way away from home. Matthew 15:7-9
  16. Bringing shame on the family name (Social media posts, acting foolish, etc.). Leviticus 22:31-33
  17. Refusing to listen to their parents. Proverbs 23:22
  18. Sneaking boys or girls in the house without parents permission. Romans 13:2
  19. Refusing to care for their parents. Matthew 15:1-9
  20. Complaining and withholding gratitude from their parents. 2 Timothy 3:1-2; Philippians 2:14-15
  21. Loving their parents more than they love Jesus. Matthew 10:37

Just as parents are called to obey the command to not provoke their children to anger, God calls children to obey the command to honor their parents. He is honored when children live this way. It is distinctly Christian for children to obey and honor their parents and it send a strong message to the culture that children who follow Jesus are different.

Children and parents make mistakes. We fail often and in so many ways. But, I am grateful that God showers us with brand new mercies each day and gives us the grace to get better and better as parents and children. Let’s ask him to give us the strength to fulfill our roles as parents and children, as outlined in Ephesians 6:1-4, so we can restore harmony to our homes.

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What are some other ways you think children dishonor their parents?

Look at the earlier list and this list, and create 21 ways children can honor their parents and 18 ways parents can inspire their children.

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