Is it a Sin to Not Talk to Your Parents?

Family dynamics are challenging.  Every family is unique, but very few families are problem-free.  We are raised to believe we should love God, love our mothers and our fathers, and love ourselves.  What happens when there’s turmoil?  Is it a sin to not talk to your parents anymore?

Our parents give us life, so what happens when things go badly

We come into this world because of our parents.  They gave us life.  Our parents are our first influence in this world and our first friend.  When we are brought into this world, we are helpless infants.  It is our parents that take care of us.  They clothe, feed, and teach us.  They have helped us become who we are and yet, they are only human.  

Parenting is not a science.  Everyone does it differently.  Many people report that their parenting style mimics the way they grew up.  Parents were once kids, watching their own parents.  Parents do the best they can at the time, but it doesn’t always feel like that to their children.

When arguments and tension arise between parents and children, it is equally challenging.  Sometimes the easiest response is to walk away.  Deciding not to talk to your parents may feel like it is your only option.  Especially when things have been said out of anger, either by you or by them, it is instinct to just stop talking.  

Sin to Not Talk to Your Parents

Not talking to your parents may be an easy response.  It may feel natural.  You may feel like you are protecting yourself from them by avoidance, or maybe that you are protecting them from your anger.  Maybe that’s not it at all, and not talking to your parents may be incredibly difficult.  You may be trying to hold out to protect yourself or to punish them.

It is your choice whether you talk to your parents or not.  Some people consider their religious beliefs when discussing their parents.  Some even feel it is a sin not to talk to their parents.

What does the bible tell us About Not Talking to Our Parents

The bible tells us that children are a gift to parents, but what does it tell us about how to handle disagreements with our parents?  Does the bible say that we are sinning if we don’t talk to our parents?

Hebrews 12:11 tells us, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

This passage can be interpreted to address the discipline given to children by parents.  Hebrews explains that discipline is not pleasant, but it is necessary.  Parents are not given detailed instructions on how to handle their children, so trying to raise them right by society and God is often a struggle.

The bible tells us that disciplining our children produces righteousness and peace.  Parents want peace for their children.  However, the discipline is not specified.  Some parents spank, some wash their mouths out with soap.  Some children and grown adults can report growing up in a very strict household, while others felt their parents went easy on them.  

Parents do their best for their children even when it doesn’t appear that way to outsiders. As children, who are we to criticize their methods?  When we choose not to talk to our parents, are we punishing them for not doing ‘right’ by us?  If our parents, who read the same bible we read, did their best to give us peace, then punishing them with silence may be a sin.  After all, we cannot judge them for their methods.  

Proverbs 23:22 says, “Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.”  The World English Bible translates this verse to read: “Listen to your father who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother when she is old.”  

Proverbs is not the only book that tells us we should love and honor our parents.  Matthew 19:19 tells us, “Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  So where does withholding love and honor, or not speaking to them, fit in?

When you do not talk to your parents, you are not honoring them.  It is a display of despise to not speak to your mother.  These verses, alone, make us feel it is a sin not to talk to our parents.  But nothing is that black and white on this earth.

Taking care of yourself

We must love our parents, love God, and love our neighbors.  We know these things, for Sunday School lessons made sure of it.  We must also love ourselves.  By loving ourselves, we must take care of our mental health.  

We make choices to protect our well-being.  There are toxic situations, where staying will damage your well-being.  Perhaps your parents do not approve of your life choices.  Maybe they don’t like your significant other or the college you’ve chosen to attend.  If your parents are belittling about these choices, it is at great cost to you to stay and listen.  It may be perceived as a sin but choosing to take care of your mental health is survival.  

There are also situations where not talking to your parents is not entirely your choice.  What if, like in the scenario above, your parents ask you to choose between continuing a relationship with them and your life choices. 

If you continue to have things in your life, like a partner or a school, that they disagree with you are choosing not to continue your relationship.  But who’s choice was this?  They did, after all, ask you to choose.  Parents are supposed to love and support their children, just like children should honor their parents.  They should not have asked you to choose, so it cannot be a sin to stop talking to them.  

It may be a sin to not talk to our parents, but it is not as simple as a “do or don’t.”  Before deciding how our choices impact our faith, we must consider all the variables.  We should think about the way our parents raised us, and if they are justified in their actions.  We also need to look at the reasons why we have decided to cut them out.  If our reasons come from a place of pride or revenge, perhaps we should rethink our actions.  

The world is a tough place.  Just like our parents did before us, we must do our best to survive.  It may be considered a sin to not talk to our parents, but it is not black and white.  

John 1:9 gives us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” which reminds us that our sins are forgiven.