Friday, September 19, 2014

6.b. Honor Your Abusive Narcissistic Mother?

The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
Proverbs 14:1

© by Gail Meyers 
Narcissistic mothers love to attempt to use the Bible, and even God, against you. Then, time goes by until there comes a day when you get so angry and frustrated because you are doing what you think is right, that you walk away and the narcissistic abuser has caused further destruction by destroying your spiritual life. 

In order to prevent this from happening, or to begin healing the damage already done, we first established earlier in this chapter:

  • The Bible warns of false believers, false apostles and false prophets.
    • They may masquerade as an angel of light.
    • You shall know them by their fruits.    

  • While Scripture is called the Sword of the Spirit, it may be misused as an abusive weapon. Satan himself quoted Scripture out of context in order to use it as a pretext while tempting Jesus in the desert.

    • Christ had no stronger rebuke for anyone than for this bunch of arrogant individuals who were turning people away from the faith while masquerading behind a cloak of false piety. 

Strikingly, while the Bible instructs us to love God, our neighbor and the stranger, it does not specifically instruct us to love our parents.  It instructs us to honor our father and mother.  The following are some of the ways abusive, narcissistic mothers attempt to use and misuse this commandment to honor your father and mother. It is often presented by narcissistic mothers as if it is a blank check given to her by God requiring you to honor her with no responsibility whatsoever on her part, even to the extent of acting as if it requires you to allow her to destroy you, your life and everything you love while worshipping her as your mother. A narcissistic mother may:

  • Say honor, but the reality may be for you to worship her (while she destroys you). 

  • Expect you to obey her even once you become an adult.

  • Demand to come first in your life.
    • Interfere with your marriage.
    • Teach your own children to dishonor and disrespect you.

  • Expect you to enable or engage in her narcissistic or evil behavior.

    Once again narcissistic mother redefines the terms and takes this scripture out of context in order to use it as a pretext. So, the first thing we are going to do is more accurately define the terms and look at the context.


    Fifth Commandment in Context

    Moses has led God's people out of Egypt after 400 years of Egyptian bondage when God provides the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai.  The commandments are given to establish the foundation of a moral society for the millions of Israelites in their new found freedom.  

    • Thus, the first important fact learned from the context is that the commandments were given to Christian parents and children to establish order and protection in a moral society.  They were not given to facilitate evil or abusive behavior by ungodly parents masquerading as Christians or to trap, torture or brow beat Christian children.

    The Ten Commandments were given on two tablets, the first concerning our love for God.  The second, which begins with the command to honor your father and mother, concerns our relationships with one another.  This signifies God is the foundation of it all, while the parental authority is the foundation of a moral society.  So the children honor the parents who are in turn honoring God together.  

    There is a great deal included in the balancing instruction to parents:

    • Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

      • "Fathers" is inclusive of mothers, to whom the practical administration of the household and training of the children so much belong. Pulpit Commentary

     The first half is a negative instruction, what not to do:
    • Neither by words; by unjust and, unreasonable commands; by contumelious (meaning contemptuous or humiliating) and reproachful (meaning expressing disapproval or disappointment) language; by frequent and public chidings (meaning to scold or rebuke), and by indiscreet and passionate expressions: nor by deeds; preferring one to another; by denying them the necessaries of life; by not allowing them proper recreation; by severe and cruel blows, and inhuman usage; by not giving them suitable education; by an improper disposal of them in marriage; and by profusely spending their estates, and leaving nothing to them.  (Parentheticals added) Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

    The second half is a positive instruction, what parents are to do:
    • Instructing them in the knowledge of divine things, setting them good examples, taking care to prevent their falling into bad company, praying with them, and for them, bringing them into the house of God, under the means of grace, to attend public worship. Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible


      • Proverbs 6:16-19 provides an exceedingly clear disapproval of the classic, persistent narcissistic maneuvers:

      • There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.


    Honor is Not Worshipping Thy Mother 

    In the most fundamental sense narcissism is a tendency to self-worship.  Narcissistic mothers love to so broadly define honor as to actually be worship, attempting to perch themselves up on the throne of their children's hearts and lives.  This is idolatry and certainly not what God intended as the very first commandment is to have no other gods before Him.

    Obey Thy Mother

    Next, is the idea that an adult son or daughter of a narcissistic mother is to obey her. As Christian psychiatrist Dr. Paul Meier points out in his book Free to Forgive, the Bible commanding us to "obey" our parents is a command to little children. This can be found in the Greek, little children obey your parents. 

    Obeying your parent when you are little is for the safety of the child, among other things.  Honoring their parents is also good for children and society because psychologically children need to be able to honor their parents. Otherwise, the parent is but a peer or the parentification (role reversal) occurs that is so classic with narcissistic parents. However, adults need not obey their parents at all, which is especially true if the parent is leading an ungodly life.   

    The Biblical Order of Relationships

    Narcissistic mothers notoriously interfere with their children's marriages and the raising of their grandchildren. This is often reinforced as a part of honoring thy mother.  However, the Bible is clear about the proper order of things.

    When you become an adult you come out from under the authority of an ungodly or evil parent and place yourself under the authority of God.  If you marry,  Genesis 2:24 states:

    • Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
    Once a son or daughter marries, God comes first, then your spouse. This provides biblical guidance for setting boundaries even with godly parents. Should there be any question regarding a narcissistic mother meddling in her children's marriages, it is answered by Matthew 19:6:
    • So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.
    We are responsible before God to instruct and protect our children. This includes all of the instructions previously discussed, but applied to us as the parents to our own children.

    Honoring a Narcissistic Mother 

    While a narcissistic mother masquerading as a Christian may make every effort to use the commandment to honor your father and mother as a requirement for you to actually worship her, while she on the other hand destroys you, this is idolatry and certainly not what the Bible teaches.  

    We are not required as adults to obey our parents at all.  We are to leave our parents and become one with our spouse. Only our relationship with God takes priority over the marital relationship. If we remain single adults, we are to remove ourselves from the authority of an ungodly parent and place ourselves directly under the authority of God. 

    In turn, when we become parents we have all of these same responsibilities toward our own children.  This includes protecting them from known dangers and bad influences, which may include their own grandmother.  As we will continue to explore, there are abundant examples and instructions on rebuking, shunning or fleeing evil, but not one for honoring it.  




    1. This is a very good post. You covered exactly what has been on my mind: let her carry her own luggage. I have carried her baggage (and mine) for my whole life.