Honoring Your Mother and Your Father, The Fifth Commandment…And What About Permission to Marry?

The following is a guest blog by Kelli Russell, part of our counseling team and a ministry partner. Kelli has been faced with several counseling situations in recent months that all fall under the oppression and abuse of Hyper-Headship and Patriarchy.


This topic seems to bring with it sadness, despair, confusion, entitlement, and a lack of grace and regard for one another as image-bearers of God.

I have had many counseling conversations where a very excited young woman or young couple is ready to be married or some other major life decision only be discouraged in being told by their parents that they do not have the parent’s blessing or permission.

Adult children further being told that by not obeying the parent’s decision is out of God’s order, that they are ignoring the admonition, ‘Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.’ Often times resulting in the adult child being ostracized and the relationship is estranged.

There have also been the difficult discussions where adult children have been taught an inaccurate view of obedience under an authoritative dictatorship of head-of-household, using Scripture as its hammer rather than the servant-leadership model God intended and demonstrated by Christ. This results in a fractured view of self, of God as Father, and an inappropriate view of authority, disabling their ability to discern well for themselves.

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