Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Defining Honoring

GOD commands us to honor our parents, but what if your parents are harmful, and staying in a relationship with them puts you in harms way? 

Renee Pittelli has written 3 very helpful books for those who have been, or currently in toxic relationships. These 3 books are; Breaking the Bonds of Adult Child Abuse: A Biblical Textbook on Abusive Narcissistic Families, How They Operate, And How To Deal With Them", Narcissistic Predicaments: A Biblical Guide for Navigating the Schemes, Snares, and No-Win Situations Unique to Abusive Families, THE FAMILY FREELOADER- A BIBLICAL ANSWER FOR SOB STORIES, CON GAMES, AND NEVER HAVING TO GET OFF THE COUCH".

Renee is currently working on her forth book, Narcissistic Confrontations, and is giving us a seek peak on a topic that has been of much interest to myself and others. I wrote about Honoring Abusive, Bad, Evil, Narcissistic, Toxic, Reprobate Parents? in February 2010, and it remains one of my most read articles. Today, with Renee's permission, I would like to share with you the wisdom that she recently shared with me about Defining Honoring.



Yes, Sisters and Brothers. Some people are not worthy of honor, even if they happen to be parents. I think we need to give ourselves permission to be the ones to define "honor," and not let evil people or outsiders define it for us and then force us to live by their definition. 

First of all, "honoring" is not "obeying." As adults, we do not obey other adults. We have become children of God and we only obey God. 

If we set boundaries on our parents’ behavior toward us, how is that "dishonoring" them? We are treating them honorably by expecting them to live up to a certain standard of correct and acceptable behavior, not down to a low, base, primitive level of behavior. 

If we need to go No Contact, how is that dishonoring anybody? 

All we are doing is giving up trying to change them, honoring their choice to be the kind of person they want to be and live as they wish to live, and helping them not to sin anymore by removing ourselves from the picture so they cannot inflict their evil upon us. Having contact with us contributes to causing them to sin by giving them a target. We are not doing anything at all to a narcissist by simply staying away from her.

If we live in the truth as the Bible instructs us to do, bring evil deeds into the light, and tell the truth about our abusive parents, how is that dishonoring them? Wouldn't it be much more dishonoring to lie about them and hide what they do as if we were ashamed of them? I really think we need to stop equating "honoring" with "obeying" or "submitting" or "overlooking” or “covering up for.” It is none of those things.

Where does it say to honor abusers and forgive the unrepentant who fully intend to continue doing evil and hurting others? 

When abusers and their Silent Partners use God's Word against us, it helps to remember that the Bible was never written to benefit abusers or to facilitate their evil and unrepentance, and to suggest that it was is to defy logic. The Bible is the Lord's instructions for godly people in godly families and godly churches, not the ungodly. It is his teachings for his children to live in peace and love with one another, not with the children of Satan. Jesus never ignored wrongdoing or overlooked evil. From overturning the money-changers’ tables in the temple (Matthew 21:12) to the Seven Woes of the Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:1-36), he always spoke the truth, stood up to wrongdoing and publicly rebuked those who did evil, even though it might embarrass them. We are never to honor the evil, nor are we to overlook and tolerate evil behavior, and certainly not to cover it up and keep it secret. To believe that that is what God wants us to do is simply preposterous....


  1. I just want to let you know that your blog has done so much to help me. I am college student still in touch with BOTH of my narcissistic parents for financial reasons and I cannot wait for the day I go NC. Before I do, I am understanding the situation, myself and them and that this is their problem and I have no shame.

    Your compassion and insight to this goes far beyond most therapists who push Low Contact and shame victims for not being strong enough to do so.

    Right now it is so difficult still being in contact for financial reasons as it gives me a very visceral and immediate fear her and his violent reactions, but I am starting to see that they will never pull through on financially cutting me off. They know I would cut them off. They will just try to scare me with it. I have the keys to take off the chains when the time comes, and I am preparing.

  2. Thank You Highflyinkiller for sharing and for commenting. As you shared the financial chain is a tough one to break. I have a sibling who is still very trapped due to the same chain. I would advise you to break this chain ASAP. It will mean that you will finish college slower, but you will have peace and independence which is priceless. Your Nparents will hold this over your head all through college and throughout the rest of your life in that you will constantly be reminded that "you would not have this degree if it were not for them" -- the big ol' Guilt Trip part of the FOG (Fear, Obligation, and Guilt) that keeps us trapped in their KoN {Kingdom of Narcissism}. Even though someone is supporting you financially, it does not mean they get to treat you badly, but Ns don't understand this. In fact Ns think this gives them the right/access to treat you however they want to. Those financial chains are like the strings on a puppet making the N the puppet master who feels that s/he has the right to make you do what s/he wants.

    In college is a great time to practice no contact for almost no contact. Say you are too busy to get together, due to you wanting to do your very best. When you have contact make it very min. and have a set thing you want to talk about. Start the conversation off by saying due to your very short time you want to enjoy the time together and stick to certain topics. Share about your life what you want to share, and ask the Nparents about their lives -- Ns love to brag, so let them brag about something. Then say how you are happy for them, and that you have got to get back to studying, because you know that they want you to do your very best.

    Personally and professionally speaking I disagree with the "low contact" rec. Nparents are toxic and poison. Would we rec. to someone to have low or no contact with poison? Until they exhibit enough self-control that will not be harmful to others, then they will continue to be dangerous to be around.

    Do not let ANYone guilt you into staying in a toxic relationship.

    Blessings to you as you are working hard in college and for your future.

  3. Firstly thank you so much for your blog. My journey that has led me to this site comes from doing research on my fiance's N-mom and his toxic family.

    Having had a few encounters with his "mom" that left me with an open jaw and speechless had made me obsessed to research online to find a label for what his "mom" was doing to the family.

    When I finally came read about N everything made complete sense. Having only had 3 years previous contact with his family I felt liberated, free, that I was not crazy, I even labelled myself as daughter-in-law from hell !!!! It's amazing how toxic these people are and how they truly tornado their way causing havoc to everyone that comes into contact with them.

    I presented the information I found to my fiance and it took him a long long time to accept the truth (approx 1 year). Finally he accepted it 2 months ago and although he no longer allows his N-mom to manipulate him, he still feels obligated to listen to the voice of his enabling father and Golden Child elder sister (he is the scapegoat).

    Often I see the sadness in his eyes caused by the FOG it almost seems he would rather go back to normal just to avoid feeling the feeling now, to avoid feeling isolated and cast aside by his biological family. This "half in - half out" scenario is indirectly prolonging his pain. I honestly doubt he will ever be able to set himself free and go NC with his family.

    It's to the point that I have put our wedding on hold for now. I see the truth and I am very unwilling to marry into this toxic family knowing what I know now. It would be like knowingly signing myself over to the devil himself !!!

    Need advice on what I should do in this situation .... :(

    1. Once Upon A Time please forgive me for not responding sooner. Life has been so very busy and I am unable to check my blog on a regular basis, until now. You have great insight and wisdom to discern that your beloved fiance is caught between two worlds "half in - half out" is such an accurately painful description. You can not force him to make the very needed decision of No Contact with his toxic biofamily, for that will only lead to disaster.
      The think is the amount of contact you have with Narcissists = the amount of heartache you, your spouse, and your children will endure.
      This year I celebrated my 20th Anniversary with my hubby. We have been a couple for 26 years. I can tell you that being a Wife and Momma is VERY challenging when you have a support system in place (supportive parents), and when you have parents and in-laws that are toxic that will only contaminate what you are trying to build. Narcissists enjoy trespassing against any boundaries you would establish, and they are not happy unless there is chaos. They are what the Bible refers to as an reprobate/unrepentant and you can not change them, but they will make you miserable. My heart goes out to both you and your fiance. Due to the fact that your fiance was born and raised in the KON {Kingdom of Narcissism} for survival sake he has become desensitized to the severity of the toxic behavior/spirit of his parents -- do you want to know how I know? I never knew just how horrible the Momster was until I left her KON and had no contact for what has been 5 yrs. It wasn't until how I saw how her toxic behavior neg. effected my baby girl that I said no more. When I was a child I had no choice, but to endure this toxic mess. However, I am no longer a child, and my child will not have a Legacy of Dysfunction and Abuse. Because of Christ Jesus I can give to my child that was not give to me -- A Family of Love. Not perfect people, but people never have the intent to harm, and when we make a mistake we have remorse and repent/change.

      Never enter a relationship with the expectation that it will change for the better. You must ask yourself, if things never change can I live like this for the rest of my life, and especially where children are concerned (or future children are concerned) you must ask is this the best situation for them? Is this the Legacy I want to Live and Leave for future generations?

  4. Truly, I appreciate the fact that you've made this blog & that I was blessed to have found it. My mind will be at ease when I leave my parents behind (namely my father)