The fifth commandment and how it can effect young LGBT people.

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Joined in 2010
November 18, 2010, 17:46

Hey, first off, names Michael, first post, pleased to meet you. I’m 17, brought up catholic but embrace a broad Christian view. However, my very recently become partner, still living with his parents, decided to call off our relationship, as his parents were pressuring him to break it off, and nothing he could say could convince them or change their mind to the views of homosexuality being a sin. As he put god above all, he told me that he would obey the fifth commandment and honour his parents wishes, despite the pain and emotional upset it would cause. (He also comes from a Filipino family, and his value of family is very strong, and them treating him differently also upset him greatly.)

I always interpreted the fifth commandment to mean respect your parents and do good by them. But if there are such people who interpret it as directly obeying your parents word as law, this can greatly impact on their own sexual identity and own spiritual beliefs if the two become stressed through such a discourse of belief. I was interested in other peoples opinions, namely on how they believe the fifth commandment should be perceived, what it means for children AND parents, in terms of understanding and respect.

(I hope i did this right. Looking forward to hearing peoples thoughts and stuff. Cheers.)

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
November 18, 2010, 22:01

Hi Michael_DB

Welcome to the forum! Excellent question. And I tend to agree with your idea of respect for parents being important rather than blind obedience. The latter doesn’t actually allow for growth. And an absence of growth isn’t good. Maturity and wisdom come from experiencing life, learning from mistakes and being true to who we are.

I recall Jesus going to the temple as a young man (Luke 2: 46) while his parents frantically searched for him for 3 days. Upon finding their son, Mary expressed her displeasure and anxiety in v 48 saying: “Why have you done this to us? Look your father and I have sought You anxiously.” v 49 “And He said to them: Why is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand.

This makes me think there are things that are higher than respect for our parents. It’s important to be ourselves and follow our own callings even when this may be at odds with parental views. It seems that Mary was being a typical mother and showing her humanness and understandable anxiety. Her question shows how she took his actions personally, like he’d wronged her. And yet, he wasn’t taking that on. Instead it seems to me that Jesus pointed out that they should have trusted him and been aware of his path. That also reminds me of the difficult line that teenagers and parents must walk, with parents learning to trust their children and gradually allowing more independence yet agonising for their safety at the same time.

In Matt 10: 37 Jesus says: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” This is a very challenging verse from an equally tricky passage. It would be good if there are biblical scholars who can shed further light here.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2009
November 19, 2010, 12:17

Hi Michael_DB

Welcome. Ann-Marie has given a good answer. I believe age comes into it. If you don’t mind our asking, how old is your friend?

When he becomes an adult, obeying you parents doesn’t apply. Most consider that to be 18. I have seen parents who try to use that commandment to try to manipulate their children into doing what they want long after they become adults. That is not acceptable.

Others try to tell their gay children it is just a phase they are going through and that they will grow out of it. That is not true.

Joined in 2010
November 19, 2010, 12:40

Thanks guys. My friend is 18, and has been for seven months. I believe that his fear of alienation from his parents if he did not bow to them was also a contributing factor, as family is very important in his culture.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
November 20, 2010, 14:22

Welcome Michael_DB….so good to have you here.

Wise Ann Maree has responded well.

there are many layers that we must work through to find authenticity.

firstly our sexual orientation

if we come from a faith background that adds another layer on top

Your friend, coming from an Filipino background has yet another.

the asian culture with strong family connections adds additional pressure.

gettingthere on our forum would be quite helpful in this situation I’m sure. I will let him know about this post and he will most likely respond.

I dont think the 10 commandments are the highest ideal any more……..Jesus said there…….love god….love others … yourself…..if we do this then we fulfil all the law.

Possibly both your friend and his parents are not following the higher law.

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