Commandments

1. Why do Christians not follow the Jewish laws?

2. How do you love and honor a parent who wants nothing to do with you, even though you’ve done nothing wrong. How do you honor a mother who marries a boyfriend younger than you and who has said you are dead to her?

Q 1: Why do Christians not follow the Jewish laws?

A 1: I'm not sure which laws you are referring to. I would guess that you mean the dietary laws. These laws were unique to Jews and not practiced by the Gentiles. When the gentiles were admitted into the church as believers in Jesus, it was decided that they did not first have to become Jews and thus be subjected to Jewish law (this was an important issue dealt with in the Acts of the Apostles). For these Gentile converts faith in Jesus was sufficient for entering into the community of the church. Jewish-Christians, however, were still bound by Jewish dietary laws. As time progressed, the church became mostly gentile in make up, and adherence to Jewish dietary law vanished.

Q 2: How do you love and honor a parent who wants nothing to do with you, even though you’ve done nothing wrong. How do you honor a mother who marries a boyfriend younger than you and who has said you are dead to her?

A 2: I cannot pretend to understand how deep the pain is that you feel, but I can understand how difficult it is to love and honor and even to forgive. I am fairly certain that it will take some time for you to get past the hurt of this situation. One place to begin might be with the fact that our model of love and forgiveness comes from God, who chose to love us in the midst of our sin, who sent Jesus into the world not because of anything that we did, but because he loved us in spite of what we did. I am sure that it is easier for God, but I am equally sure that it is not impossible for us. I am fond of saying that forgiveness doe not lie with the sinner, but with the one who has been sinned against. Even if the sinner does not ask forgiveness, we are called to give it, and our model is God.

Honoring a mother you describe, however, may be more difficult. The command to honor our parents is not meant to give them license to treat us with disrespect, nor does it mean that we have to approve of everything they do without question or challenge. There is a need to find some kind of common ground. If you can find a way of communicating that steers clear of judgment, you might be able to express your feelings and achieve an understanding. But given that we are all human beings it may also be that you need to put some distance between you and your mother for a while, and then open a process of communication.