How do I honor my parents when I'm constantly fighting with my mother?




I have a question about the article of honoring your father and mother. I am a 27 year old mom of three. My husband and I live too close to my parents and my mother and I are into it constantly. I was just wondering does all of the honor stuff that is in the Bible apply to me now that I am older and not "under their roof." I do love my mom but she really gets on my nerves and I find it impossible to not have a fight with her at least once a week. (Sometimes more.) I feel like she starts the drama. I really do try to get around it but it never fails, we always go back to the routine of not getting along.
Please help!

"If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men" (Romans 12:18).

Honoring your parents means you treat them with respect. What so often happens is that we give less respect to our parents than we do to a boss we can't stand. I suspect it is because of the old cliche, "Familiarity breeds contempt." In your case, mom knows just what buttons to push to get a reaction out of you and the habit is so well ingrained in you that you jump every time she pushes it.

The issue is not so much the honoring, but the leaving of home. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). You are a wife and mother in your own home. Your mother no longer has any authority over you or your family, but she is still trying take some and you are still giving it to her -- and you resent it.

There is no need to fight if you simply acknowledge to yourself that your mother no longer has control over your life. Of course she will give you advice, and it will be well worth the time to consider what she has to offer since she has more experience that you. However, ultimately it is your own decision to follow it or go a different route. Don't take advice as judgments on your abilities; they are nothing more than suggestions that might have some use in your own life and situation.

A sister in Christ wrote an answer to a similar question recently that I found to be appropriate for this question as well, so I'm including it here.

Shame on your mother for not realizing that you are not in subjection to her anymore.  Mothers should not make the transition for her daughter any harder than it is.  But, since you have a mom like that (I do too), you've got to step up to the plate and draw the line. 

The best thing my husband and I did was to move out of state for the first year we were married.  We didn't go home at all that year.  It definitely drew a line.  We had to cling to each other because there was no where else to go.  That taught us that we could make important decisions without mom or dad's input.  We had to spend the holidays without the rest of the family for the first time in both our lives.  That gave us the opportunity to begin our own traditions and it allowed us to know that we could do it on our own.

When we came back "home", close to where both sets of parents lived, we were confident that we were truly independent.  That didn't stop mom from wanting to control things, but it gave us the courage to not let her.

You are the one that has to make her understand that she's not in charge.  There will be friction.  She's not going to like it.  You can either confront her about it, or listen politely to her opinions and go on to do what you and your husband decide is best.  Your husband can't handle this one for you.  You're going to have to be the one that breaks away from mom.  It's the whole "leave and cleave" thing from Genesis.  It's not easy, but it is the right thing to do and your marriage will be blessed when it is done. 

In my case, it took several years for mom to realize she wasn't going to control our marriage.  It was made especially hard for me because my sister allowed mom to interfere with her marriage.  Mom always said I was being a disrespectful daughter.  She accused me of choosing his family over mine.  She did and said everything she could to make me feel bad.  Now, 25 years later, my marriage is strong, and my sister is divorced.  Mom doesn't interfere anymore. 

Lesson I've learned?  Let my own children leave and cleave.  Don't make it difficult for them.  Encourage them to make their own traditions and build their own families.  Ask next summer how it's going.  My oldest is getting married in July.  :-)

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Questions and Answers regarding Family