If you watch the news and the headlines, you will see that there are some pretty heinous parents out there. Most of the time, if someone is watching closely, children are taken away from a bad parent so that no harm comes to them. When children of bad parents read the command to obey their parents, they wonder how it can be that they should follow this teaching. Upon further clarity of the scripture, and reading it in its context, is says “in the Lord!” When you were a child, if your parents didn’t obey the Lord, who reigns supreme over them, you are not to follow them into sin. You must obey the Lord and His precepts, over and above anything your parents might have told you.
A good example of a biblical character disobeying his bad parent is when Saul told Jonathan to bring him David so he could kill him. Then Jonathan answered Saul his father, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” Then Saul threw a spear at him to strike him. Jonathan then left in anger.
If you have good and decent parents that are following the Lord, and teaching you to do the same, then you better follow this commandment. However, if a parent is leading you into sin, you must follow the Lord for He is over and above your parents.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4