|10-10-2012, 02:14 AM||#1|
Joined: Sep 2012
As adults, how are we to honor our parents?
I am wondering what the writings say about HOW to honor our parents. For example, my mother is Christian and considers every group, not in mainstream Christianity, to be a cult. Because of her beliefs, I do not bring up my beliefs with her anymore.
My question is this: As older, mature adults, are we required to obey our parents the same as when we were minors living with them? I assume the answer would be no, but would like to hear discussion on this topic as well as HOW we are to honor our parents as adults (or do the writings even talk about honoring our parents?).
Thank you for your help
|10-10-2012, 10:47 AM||#2|
Joined: May 2011
Yes, the Writings talk about honouring parents, but naturally that is not the same thing as obeying them. We can show honour without necessarily agreeing with and following their example if their example is not good for us. As adults we have the responsibility to make decisions about our own spiritual life, /behaviour and progress.
Here are a few quotes:
767. Parents Must Be Respected -- Should not Keep Child Back from Serving the Cause
"If thou wouldst show kindness and consideration to thy parents so that they may fell generally pleased, this would also please Me, for parents must be highly respected and it is essential that they feel content, provided they deter thee not from gaining access to the Threshold of the Almighty, nor keep thee back from walking in the way of the Kingdom. Indeed it behoveth them to encourage and spur thee on in this direction."
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 229)
"Say, O My people! Show honour to your parents and pay homage to them. This will cause blessings to descend upon you from the clouds of the bounty of your Lord, the Exalted, the Great.
Baha'u'llah. ( quoted in Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 229)
837. Comfort thy mother and endeavour to do what is conducive to the happiness of her heart....
('Abdu'l-Bahá, "Tablets of Abdul Baha Abbas", vol. 1 (Chicago: Bahá'í Publishing Committee, 1930), p, 74)
770. Pray for Parents
"It is seemly that the servant should, after each prayer, supplicate God to bestow mercy and forgiveness upon his parents. Thereupon God's call will be raised: 'Thousand upon thousand of what thou hast asked for thy parents shall be thy recompense!' Blessed is he who remembereth his parents when communing with God. There is, verily, no God but Him, the Mighty, the well-Beloved."
(The Bab: Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 94, 1982 ed.)
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 230)
|10-10-2012, 10:55 AM||#3|
Joined: Dec 2010
Honor and obey are not the same things.
Your mother has practiced her independent investigation of the truth. She has decided something you disagree with and that presents a difficulty for your relationship of course, but it's worth respecting her for doing her investigation! Even if you think she stopped short. She doesn't think so.
I have had a share of difficulty with my own Christian mother over my beliefs, mostly in my younger years, but I find to the extent I emphasize the vast areas where we agree it tends to make the relationship work better.
I don't bring things up generally but let her be in the driver's seat. On the rare occasion I do I make a reference from a Christian point of view and not a Baha'i one. It's not like I see there's a difference whether I quote Christ on the subject of repentance or Baha'u'llah -- but it makes a huge difference to her.
When my family is visiting we attend my old church with Mom. I participate in the church activities that I can (obviously some parts of the Nicene Creed I do not recite). I try to be helpful in the church though I am not a member, because they are helping the community and why would I not do that? We are musical family and we offer music suitable for their services because they are a bit short on musicians.
It's not like any of us have a problem with the truth of Christ, after all. If the church is passing out food to the poor, well, that's something that Baha'is can be doing to make a difference in the world -- so why not help if I'm there already? I'm careful not to give mom any false hope I will return to her faith, obviously, nor to confuse anyone by pretending to be a Christian when I am not, but we seem to get on pretty well.
Actions always will speak louder than words.
As time passes and your mother is able to see that you are living a life in accordance with God's commandments, when she sees you are clean living even more than many of her acquaintances in her church do, she may notice that as my mother has noticed.
This might be of some relevance here:
It takes some time and practice to find the means to deal with the particular situation you're in. Try to be as patient with your mother as possible...and also with yourself. This may take a while to work through.
Also...say prayers for your parents. It will be good for them..and you too.
|10-10-2012, 11:01 AM||#4|
Joined: Dec 2010
Also yes if the parents' example is not good for us, following such an example is not so good either.
I'm reminded of a couple of excellent friends of mine who were both from families with serious alcohol issues. Of course they love their parents and pray for them. But as the saying goes, er, "sometimes you have to love them from a distance."
At this point in time such poor relations between parents and children are a sad thing to see, but then I remind myself that as humanity gets more in tune with the message of Baha'u'llah, the better parents will be, and the less baggage children will tug along behind them into adult life.
Imagine a life where children are not neglected or abused and are insteaded supported, guided and loved. It's the work of generations, but what a Golden Age it will be.
|10-10-2012, 11:29 AM||#5|
Joined: Oct 2012
From: Clarksburg WV
Ask yourself this Question, If Your Mother is a Christian and considers every group, not in mainstream Christianity, to be a cult.
Would it be comforting to her, to fellowship with you, on your own beliefs ?
I Suggest, As Abdul Baha Says....Comfort thy mother and endeavour to do what is conducive to the happiness of her heart....
I Suggest bringing up The principles of the Bahá'í Faith and See if She can Agree with any of them.
Baby Steps, and the right timing, is the Key.
Never Offend. Just Bring up The principles of the Bahá'í Faith to her, and Seek for those Connections that you two can build on.
I Believe You will Find Some Connections Together....
|10-10-2012, 01:11 PM||#7|
Joined: Sep 2012
Dear Genuine Seeker,
I realize it must be stresful to have such a strain on a relationship with such an important person in your life. I agree with the excelent suggestions posted above: patience, prayer, baby steps in searching for common ground, leading by example.
One thing I would like to add is a little bit of hope... When I first "came out" as a Baha'i to my mother it was during a phone conversation and it got ugly. She was certain it's a cult and that I'm destroying my life by aflliating with other followers. When I visited my family home I was very nervous and determined not to raise the issue at all. Instead,the most astounding thing happened: my mother came to me and said she did some research and upon investigating she thinks the message of Bahaullah is nice. She asked some questions and I explained it is not a phase. We hugged it out and she asked: "Why didn't you trust me enough to come to me with rhis issue earlir? As long as you're happy that's ok."
Now, don't get me wrong, it's not like she embraced the Faith immediately but she was nonjudgemental and she did facilitate talks about the topic with the rest of my family. Moreover, she is suportive during my travels for service or training. Our relationship has never been better! So don't give up on your mother :-)
|10-10-2012, 02:17 PM||#8|
Joined: Sep 2012
I do pray for her several times a week, the Baha'i prayer for parents, and am seeing her heart seemingly more tender. We do not live in the same city, but we are communicating better than before I became enamored with the faith. I will know when is the time, if ever, to talk about it with her , but it is not something that I feel compelled to do. I mainly want to live love and give due respect and honor. She does not ask my opinions and I try not to give them too much. She's very controlling and has told me she just wants me to listen when she tells me how things should be and not to say anything, so I am honoring her wishes.
|10-10-2012, 07:48 PM||#9|
Joined: Jun 2006
I think regardless of our parents religion and even if they disagree with our views we should respect them...
Later in life there will also be times when we may need our families. So many times nowadays families are broken and divided by many forces in society. People move away from each other and dissassociate themselves from one another causing greater isolation and loneliness...
|10-11-2012, 01:48 PM||#10|
Joined: Mar 2010
From: Rockville, MD, USA
_ _ _ _ _
**HOW AND WHY THE BAHA'I FAITH IS NOT A CULT**
Based on "Combating Cult Mind Control" by Steven Hassan, here are the criteria for determining "cults":
1. How new members are found.
Dangerous Cults: With many cults, you don't get to know what you are getting into until after you have made a commitment.
Baha'i Faith: What you see is what you get: there are no secrets.
2. How funding is obtained.
Dangerous Cults: Commercial operations and/or mandatory donations (often large percentages) by members.
Baha'i Faith: Has no commercial businesses, collection plates are never passed, and donations are completely voluntary and accepted from enrolled members only.
3. Charismatic central figure.
Dangerous Cults: Cults usually have a central living figure who often lives on income from adherents.
Baha'i Faith: There is no living central figure in the Baha'i Faith (and there has been none since 1957); government is by bodies freely elected from the membership. There is no clergy, paid or unpaid.
4. Investigation of truth.
Dangerous Cults: Members are often told that it is dangerous to investigate other religions.
Baha'i Faith: Baha'is are encouraged to investigate all religions, and to appreciate truth no matter where it is found.
5. Behavior control, as defined by Hassan. *
Dangerous Cults: Persons may be told where to live, what to wear, or what (and how much) to eat. Sleep and freedom to travel or move about may be limited.
Baha'i Faith: Baha'is do not live in communes, but in the world as normal individuals and families. They wear no special or required clothing. The religion has no food requirements other than abstaining from alcohol, and the annual nineteen-day fast during which food and drink is not consumed during daylight hours only. Baha'is may get as much sleep as they want, eat whatever they want, work and live where they want.
6. Thought control as defined by Hassan. *
Dangerous Cults: There is often use of "thought-stopping" techniques such as chanting or speaking in tongues for long periods of time, setting up a type of hypnotic atmosphere.
Baha'i Faith: Chanting and prayer are not prolonged, nor is their intent to block thought. There is no speaking in tongues. Thought and investigation are encouraged.
7. Emotional control, as defined by Hassan. *
Dangerous Cults: Guilt and fear are often used to control members, including alternating praise and public humiliation or forced confession, and indoctrination against leaving the group.
Baha'i Faith: Confession to and humiliation of others are forbidden. Members are free to leave the Faith at any time if they so choose, without stigma.
8. What happens when people leave the religion.
Dangerous Cults: People who leave cults are often considered to be dangerous and are usually shunned.
Baha'i Faith: Baha'is are generally permitted and encouraged to remain friends with people who leave. The only exception is in the case of a person declared to be a "Covenant breaker" by the Universal House of Justice due to an attempt to split the Baha'i Faith. There is no condemnation of those who voluntarily choose to leave.
o O o
* Hassan, Steven, Combating Cult Mind Control, Park Street Press, One Park Street, Rochester, Vermont 05767, 1988, ISBN 0-89281-311-3. "The Four Components of Mind Control", pages 59-67.
|10-19-2012, 02:04 AM||#11|
Joined: Sep 2012
That is an interesting compilation; however, I do not consider myself a human resource of the Baha'i community to evangelize for their cause. I am learning about the Faith, but respect everyone's right to believe as they choose, including my mother. She has no idea what I believe or what my studies entail--for good reason. I once, like you, told everyone I loved what I believed because I wanted them to believe as I did. I no longer feel that way or follow that practice.
Last edited by GenuineSeeker; 10-19-2012 at 02:17 AM.