To honor your mother and father

May 7, 2021 | 27 comments


“Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

~ Deuteronomy 5:16, NLT

Every mother and father does the best they know, whether their parenting is praiseworthy or perhaps a work in progress.

On a scale of 1 to 10 for performance, some children may rate their mother and father’s parenting skills at a 10, and some at a 1 or 0, with many in between. For those who suffer an unhappy childhood, if may be difficult to see how they can possibly “Honor their father and mother,” as the above quote commends. But there is a way.

To “honor” our parents, is to honor their individuality made in the likeness of God. It’s to see past the shortcomings, past the mortal selfhood, past the failures and mistakes to what God created them in the first place. It is to view them from a spiritual point of view.

When we can see our parents from a spiritual point of view, we behold God’s Parenting presence that never fails us or them. Whatever they need to prosper is coming from God. And whatever we need is coming from God too. God is our common Father and Mother and ensures we have everything we need to grow and thrive.

We “live a long, full life,” when we do this, because our consciousness is filled with edifying gratitude, joy, compassion, forgiveness, and love, rather than destructive resentment, anger, and animosity.

Honor your father and mother as God honors them, as spiritual children of divine Love worthy of all the good God has to bestow upon them. The good you see in them, you’ll be able to see in yourself too, and everyone is benefited.

27 thoughts on “To honor your mother and father”

  1. Both my parents were CS practitioners and my father used to say: ” my dear child you have only one Father and He is in heaven, I am only your Daddy.” Being a teen ager at that time I thought
    ” Well, that’s a bit easy….” and then a few years later came this article and I knew my Dad was right. A lesson I remembered when I became a mother in my turn!

    True Parenthood

    1. Madora Holt’s article is wonderful support for today’s subject. Thank you for presenting it this morning.
      When you are the eighth son, very often you find motherhood and fatherhood outside of the family. Sometimes a neighbor would take me in her arms and comfort me when looking for my mother who was walking away from a distressed family situation. Reassuring me that all was well.
      I can’t imagine growing up in a home parented by advanced Christian Scientists. What a wonderful life that would have been. Your parents are still blessing others through their parenting.
      Looking back can be helpful when we remember the blessings we were given.
      God is making all things new. Parenting really never ends, while we continue to support those around us with loving prayer, sometimes in action, often in silence. And as we listen to the voices of those demonstrating their love for us. We are all in God’s dear family.

  2. “Edifying.” There’s a word that describes true nourishment. Thanks for this loving wisdom!

  3. Thank you for this Evan. I find it reminds me that to make progress spiritually I must reject thinking from a personality basis and focus on the individuality we are God given to express. It’s very comforting to know that we all have a Father/Mother guiding and loving us all….eternally❣️

  4. As one who would rate human parents in low numbers (my father was a violent abuser) this is a very important message for me. Though both parents are long gone, I realize I still need to heal my thinking about my childhood and teen years and the human parents I lived with.

  5. How grateful I am there is a venue like this one to share an honest exchange and offer healing solutions.
    Abuse in childhood comes in many forms from active abuse to silent neglect..
    I am most grateful to know we can re-write our mortal history with a clear sense of our spiritual selfhood hid with Christ in God dwelling under His wings.
    It’s essential to heal the abuse or it will continue in the form of personal relationship challenges.
    Healed it is by seeing our daily needs met in the form of nurturing caring relationship that are God provided and inspired.. These healthy relationship are true family and Love provided.

  6. Thank you Evan and all. So very helpful! I feel God brought into my human experience many years ago an “angel mom” — a loving Christian Scientist “older” woman who loved me and mothered me like my human mother seemed unable to. Am so grateful to know that God’s mothering love was the source of the angel mom’s love, and that we all have free, unlimited access to that infinite supply of divine Mother Love. My angel mom encouraged me to forgive and love my human mother. So grateful for Christian Science. I truly could not imagine life without it.

    1. Should add: It’s still a work in progress to forgive and love my human mother…I’m working at it, and today’s blog is very helpful.

  7. Eventually we learn to depend on God. We may have outstanding parents that we depend on that eventually pass on or parents that we feel were never really a parent to us – those relationships we lean on that MBE says pierce the heart. But, those things help us turn toward God, our true parent. Lesson after lesson we will learn we can depend on God. I adore my human parents but it is very important to know that God is sustaining me. That fathering and mothering is always available and we cannot be severed from it. That same fathering and mothering is available to my parents, my siblings, everyone. This care will be demonstrated time and time again. Eventually you see this and it is so comforting. Thank you Evan for such an important topic!

  8. So very grateful for this needed post and for ALL of the replies. As one who had human parents who were, well never mind. I am striving to see my True Parents, my Father-Mother God as all there is and not one whiff of past harm or incident in reality ever occurred. Each of us together dwell in the kingdom of heaven right here and right now. I’m grateful for this very message today and for the opportunity to prove it. Thank you for expressing a right understanding of parenting.

  9. AS Evan says today, it is so important to realize that our human parents did the best they knew how to do….
    Today’s blog is particularly special to me, because it reminds me of how I really found Christian Science and ”made it mine.” I, too, had a father who was abusive, both as a husband and father, yet was widely regarded, to the outside world, as an extraordinary man in his vast, world-changing business life. He and I never had a comfortable relationship (beyond my early childhood), yet, from the instant of his death when I thought to myself ”well, that’s the death of my nemesis” my thought about him changed radically. Through my study of Christian Science, I began to view who he really was, eternally, and suddenly I suddenly accepted the many many invaluable lessons I had learned from him, and because of him, and love him for these. He had shown me the wide world, interested in every person met in world travels- from the taxi driver to the head of government, had taught me countless other instructive, meaningful lessons, I began to have compassion for him, both as a man struggling to do good in the world, and to overcome his own complex life story. My efforts to love him wasn’t a conscious choice; it came about because I opened my thought to the Greater Love of God, who loves equally ALL Her children, and has bestowed unique qualities on each one. Today I feel absolutely nothing but genuine love and the deepest gratitude for my father, knowing that I would not be the woman I am today without having learned lessons I needed to learn, as I was led to meet and rise above, compelling me to go deeper into Science, learning how our Master could have forgiven EVERYONE. To see and know everyone who comes into our life as a blessing– ”how do I view this child of God…how do we heal….how do we love? ”
    Also, I know that I have a very live and active relationship today with both my parents. Often, throughout the day, I think of them individually, and very consciously give thanks for and to them.

  10. When I began my Christian Science nursing career decades ago most of my patients were much older Christian science practitioners, Christian service nurses, and longtime church workers. They had contributed so much to our worldwide movement for universal liberation and healing, and 100% of the older women still suffered from a sense of a life that was unfair and painful involving sexism and classism and domestic violence and sexual assault. They felt so much shame and bitterness and loneliness that those they had helped in the churches do not understand or empathize or compassionately practically help them.

    They all had inspiring healing examples in their life, and wisdom that would support them in healing others, so I feel blessed to learn from their harvests and hard lessons the blessings that I could share with others and heal or make progress and healing those same issues in my life.

    It taught me that Regardless of our status and successes, we are each responsible for the stories we believe about our parents and childhood, about our spouse and children, about our church and coworkers, about our community and world, about our body of work and our work with our body and mind. We are each responsible and have the divine right that nobody can take away from us To every day improves our understanding and to revise the stories we believe about God our Creator and creation, about our divine perfect Single Parent, our harmoniously whole spiritual Infinitely merciful and gracious Father and honored and omnipotent Mother.

    While it was easy for these older longtime healers then patients to believe and affirm and courageously persist in knowing the absolute truth on so many other topics, there was such a heavy burden of personal sense about being deprived when it came to the sense of family and church. I thought it was interesting that those were also my experiences as a young Christian Scientist.

    And so out of love and gratitude for Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy and the Movement they worked so hard to parent and nurture, my love for the manual and our church I wanted to thank and bless these long time warriors and workers, so I had to dig more deeply into healing these issues than I had been when it was just my own personal story. I had less personal sense and ego attachment and self justification and self-pity when The story was attacking a patient instead of what I thought was my personal painfully lived truth.

    I noticed that when their story was not answered with a called denial and superficial truism and condemnation and rejection, but was answered with empathy and compassion and humility and caring, they did not Feel such a strong need to either convince me of the unfair suffering or feel more betrayal and shame and suddenly have the story faster or cancerous. feel such a strong need to either convince me of the unfair suffering or feel more betrayal and shame and suddenly have the story faster or cancerous.

    And then I noticed since this was repeated with so many many many patients that to the degree I expressed the qualities they missed in their family and church experiences and was empathetic and gentle and a sense of shared learning, It was easier for each of us to have more of an open curious humble and as crazy as the adventurous attitude in re-examining our stories. I liked being on a mental, figurative Easter egg hunt seeking ways in which their experiences and stories had uniquely helped them develop character strengths and reliance on God and compassionate patience with their patients stuck in fear and hypocrisy. . And to the degree that I could privately cherish those strengths in them and then later verbally acknowledge their character strengths and spiritual qualities and to see how that led to them having the right experiences they needed to be in the right place at the right time to help the next person the right way… the mire I could honestly tryst the absolute truths we were applying to whatever disabling injury or chronic disease or dissatisfaction. Their years of praying for others strengthened these new insights in their own stories.

    So that helped me honor those divine qualities that our divine Parent was/ is nurturing in them and me and our world. And then it was easier to forgive my human parents and family members and others who have committed crimes against me and my children because instead of experiencing others’ actions or inaction as wrong and cruel and unfair, or as preventing me from having good or imposing bad on me, I could truly sincerely be grateful for the good they helped grow in me to bless others. And could lead to the spirit leading me to be in the right place at the right time with the past experiences and the new insights and character growth that were exactly what were needed by others expressing the pandemic/endemic of Intergenerational trauma and systemic injustice and ecocide.

    This led to so many morning drafts for Christian Science articles about “the lessons and blessin’s” we received thanks to the hard human experiences of abuse. And then like Maya Angelou I could say that I would not change or take back any of those painful past experiences and I could say with more sincerity like Mary Baker Eddy looking back on so many horribly unfair painful years of betrayal and her suffering, that God have been “graciously preparing” her.

    And seen in that light I gained more and more gratitude and joy and freedom. And more faith in God and more divine authority for healing. I could look at things that had seem so bad in the past and then see how good prevailed so when things seem bad currently I could be curious and explore the possibility of those actually being blessed opportunities to experience our divine Father-Mother and to express Divine Parenting.

    And so it was no longer a struggle to forgive my parents and others, but an easy delight in which I’ll be overcome with love for them and all at how God has been giving me exactly the perfect experiences needed for building on each other to become a better practitioner of this grand Science that heals every problem challenging the world. And so we progress every hour in right relationship with our divine Father-Mother as well as with “mother earth“ and all the rest of creation.

    So that makes us every hour that we practice this rethinking our story ever better at honoring our Father-Mother by honoring the spiritual maturing of Christly childlike qualities. And finding ways to gain our freedom so we do not perpetuate the mindless trauma that our parents suffered and passed on or that others perpetuate and we come up with better ways to improve the ways we support parents and children and teachers and churches and nonprofits and corporations and government To heal that are passed on to nurture and more heavenly future. to heal that are passed into nurture a more heavenly future.We honor our father and mother to the degree that we honor the spiritual unfoldment in our individual stories in our individual relationships and in our social responsibility with corporations and governments.

    1. Thank you Edith for sharing your story, your thoughts and the depth of your compassion for all of God’s children. The words compassion, empathy, humility and caring stood out, as they are qualities of God we are entitled to express. And thank you for your service as a Christian Science nurse.

      Grateful to Evan for this topic. It clearly goes deep with many of us, judging from the heartfelt responses today. I’ve been the child of human parents and am a human parent to a wonderful daughter (now grown). Few of us come out of childhood without some human, emotional scars, I am certainly no exception and I’m sure my daughter is no exception. But I pray to recognize that the true parent/child relationship is between dear Father-Mother God and His/Her loved and cherished child. That relationship is the only one that truly ever happened. Love and forgiveness and compassion towards my family (and towards myself) will naturally grow as this becomes clearer.

      Mrs. Eddy says in Retrospection and Introspection, in the chapter titled Marriage and Parentage (p. 19-22), “The human history needs to be revised and the material record expunged.”

  11. Thank you Edith for sharing such wonderful spiritual inspiration from the trials you have faced. It is so much appreciated. Also everyone else’s sharing of their experiences. This is all so helpful for someone I know, and I am forwarding this spiritView to this person who I hope will find help and healing
    from it.

    Thank you so much, Evan, for sparking it all off.

  12. This is powerful. Thank you so much Evan. And many thanks to all who comment. Family relations (includes friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.) can appear to be very complex and dysfunctional, so I love that we can shift and lift our thinking to a “spiritual point of view” as Evan mentions. To know that there are not many minds, but many ideas governed by one Mind helps me to see that God is the only parent and we are His/Her children. I’m also reminded of Retrospection and Introspection,” Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes (p. 21 ), “It is well to know, dear reader, that our material, mortal history is but the record of dreams, not of man’s real existence, and the dream has no place in the Science of being.”

  13. Thank Evan for this post, and thank you all for sharing spiritual inspiration today, and David B., and Angie, I love that “Thank you note”!

  14. This has been an amazing topic for me, and very personal. I had a mother that didn’t want me. But my paternal grandparents. poured out love and affection on me from the time I was a toddler until their passing.. From the time I was a teenager my mother’s youngest sister, who lived a long way away, but whom I visited every Easter, poured out love and mentored me through my teen years and beyond. I can’t expressed my gratitude adequately for the love I received and the lessons I learned that enabled me to be a better mother to my daughter and maintain a truly blessed relationship now that I am a great grandmother to six children. I am also deeply grateful to have Christian Science in my life and God as my Father and Mother!

  15. Thank you Evan and all commenters. Wonderful helpful ideas expressed here and always.
    I am so grateful for Christian Science.

  16. In Sundayschool I learnt that that means to honor our Father-Mother God.
    And my parents said once to me: “we are your friends” I found that so good. So God is also the divine Father and Mother of our parents to be honored.
    Thanks a lot dear Evan for your spiritual uplift and views!!♡

  17. I should say now–with gratitude for the family friend who enrolled me in the Sunday School of her Christian Science Church before I was old enough for public school–that beginning to understand my membership in God’s family was very healing for me. A number of scars left on my hands and arms by my human father disappeared around that time.

  18. Thank you Evan for addressing this subject. I have suffered greatly over the years as an only child struggling to overcome my grief, anger and pain from a very troubled mother that was horribly sadistic to me and my father mentally, physically and, in my case, sexually. I desperately tried to please her, became what some might say an overachiever, but the human mother’s love and acceptance I so craved never came, even on her death bed. CS, which I discovered in my early 20’s, has been the life line to address my secret pain. Thank you all for the above.

  19. I am so grateful for my human mother,now passed on, she
    Was such a gentle,loving person. Her life was far from easy as my Dad
    was disabled.There were six in our sibling family. Mom worked at home and as a bookkeeper for a local dry goods store. We had no car, no telephone,let alone cell phone,,She walked to work even in -30 weather. We never were exposed to drugs, violent videos, guns .
    Although there were many challenges,the whole family were successful…becoming teachers,accountants,etc. We did take the Christian Science Monitor which at the time had gardening news,a family page and we went to church Sunday’s and sometimes Wednesdays. The church in this community is now defunct. My
    Mother lived to be 101 yrs. What an inspiration she has been in her quiet way.!

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