What About Annoying Parents?

God's Way to Handle Difficult, Annoying Parents

Christianity isn’t about taking the easy way out (Luke 9:23-25). 

God promises heavenly rewards for those who face earthly hardships and persevere (James 1:12). 

Sometimes we forget this truth when dealing with difficult relationships, especially our relationship with our parents.

Scripture says disregard for parents is a sign of ungodliness, one symptom of people who “have a form of godliness but deny its power” (Romans 1:28-30; 2 Timothy 3:1-5).

It can be hard to deal biblically with annoying parents, but this devotions explains how to do so biblically.

If we minimize our responsibilities to our parents, we deny the power of God by:

1. Believing ease of life is more important than God's call to self-denial.
2. Believing God’s commands are optional.
3. Believing our problems are beyond the scope of Christian perseverance.
4. Underestimating God’s promise (Ephesians 6:2-3).

Sometimes parents are abusive, but often people call their parents “abusive” when they're actually just "annoying" or "difficult."

If a parent is physically abusive, a drunkard, or a criminal, “boundaries” are necessary, but often adult children create boundaries to justify neglect or avoid the messy aspects of conflict resolution.(1)

Consider the challenges of people like Joseph, David, Ruth, and the New Testament apostles. 

Surely we don't think honoring a critical, annoying parent is beyond the scope of our faith (Proverbs 24:10)?

This Mother's Day, let's honor God by genuinely honoring our mothers, even if they are a bit annoying, eccentric, senile, or rude. Whether they deserve the respect or not, let's do it out of respect for Jesus.
(1) We're imperfect people and conflict resolution is often messy and difficult, but it's worth the time and effort, especially in regard to our parents. If you've given up on resolving your problems with your parents, please read Talk or Give Up.
Need some more encouragement in your relationship with your parents? Check out these devotions:
Note: Children who have been physically or sexually abused by parents must seek godly Christian counsel in handling their adult relationship with their parents. 

God's Way to Handle Difficult, Annoying Parents


  1. I went through this when our father left our Mom after she became paralyzed. My mom and I made a home together until she went home at age 80. She lived a full life . Our father remarried another woman with daughters. I went to see him when he was ill in the hospital. At his funeral he left each of his 3 original daughters ( myself and my two sisters) $1.00 each so we wouldn't contest his will which we wouldn't dream of.
    I definately honor yhe memory of our Mom on Mother's day abd forgive our father.
    In Jesus name Amen

  2. Honor God! Mother’s Day is NOT recorded in the Bible. God said to Honor your mother and father, not idolize them. Worship God in truth and spirit, obey him.

    1. Dear Rachael,
      Your response to this devotion is interesting. I encourage you to pray about why it bothered you.

      "Honor God!"
      We honor God by honoring His commands and He commands us to honor our parents.

      "Mother's Day is NOT recorded in the Bible."

      I'm not sure why you are protesting a day set aside to honor parents when God tells us to Honor parents. But if you are going to do only those things that are mentioned in Scripture in regard to your parents, your job is going to make Mother's and Father's Day look like a piece of cake.

      Read about the Racabites in Jeremiah 35 for one example.

      "God said to Honor your mother and father, not idolize them."

      Nothing in this article tells us to idolize our parents. In fact, most things in this article are merely respect and consideration. They are not even on the level of "honor."

      I encourage you to do a study of the Greek word for honor in Ephesians 6:2. It means "revere, honor, value."

      "Worship God in truth and spirit, obey him."

      I agree. And God says:

      Ephesians 6:2: "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise--

      And in Matthew 15, Jesus uses this command - to honor parents - to teach a very interesting lesson about fake worship and true worship. Jesus says those who refuse to honor their parents are only honoring God with their lips, not their hearts. He could have illustrated that truth with other commands, but He specifically chose honoring parents because the people of his day were making "spiritual" excuses not to do so.

      3Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said: ‘Honor your father and mother' and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ 5But you say that if anyone says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever you would have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ he need not honor his father or mother with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you: 8‘These people honor Me with their lips,but their hearts are far from Me. 9They worship Me in vain; they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.’”

  3. Please I have a problem
    I honor my uncle's wife but she doesn't appreciate it.
    What should I do since I live with her and my uncle

    1. Hi Unknown,
      I'm sorry about your situation. I encourage you to keep honoring her and do it for the Lord even if she doesn't respond kindly. You are pleasing God.