Enhancing or reestablishing a relationship with a parent may have a profound impact upon a person’s emotional well-being. It isn’t random chance that one of the ten fundamental commandments given to ancient Israel was “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” This benefit of developing a positive, loving relationship with one’s parents is affirmed in the New Testament: “Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise—that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Ideally, love should flow from parent to child. When this takes place and the child genuinely feels loved, it is easy for them to honor their parents. However, when a single adult grew up in a home where he felt unloved, abandoned, or abused, it is much more difficult to honor these parents. I believe that as adults we must take responsibility for enhancing the relationship with our parents; this is especially important if they were deficient in meeting our needs. There is nothing more important than love in this process. Love breaks down barriers, leaps over walls, and seeks the well-being of another.