Earlier this week, Li’l Kim revealed that her estranged father, Linwood Jones, is now living with her, due to what she believes is early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Kim’s parents divorced when she was nine, as a result of her father’s abuse. However, she and her brother were left in their father’s custody, as he was the most financially stable parent. A former Army sargeant, Linwood Jones had strict rules for his household and, by her own account, Kim fought with him constantly until she eventually left home.  The rest, as we know, is hip-hop history.

Of her decision to move her father, with whom her adult relationship has been fractured, into her home, she had this to say:

“Well, I am a child of God,” she said. “I believe in God, and I also believe in the quote ‘honor thy mother and thy father.’ No matter what, I’m always going to be there for my family,” she said.

This begs the questions: is honor subjective? Should it be contingent on how your parents treated you growing up and/or how they treat you now? What are its limitations, if any? What all does it entail?

It’s a popular running joke that adult kids “threaten” to put their parents in a home, if they disagree with them or feel like they aren’t respecting their maturity. But what about in cases where there’s a legitimate estrangement, there was childhood abuse, or the parent was chronically or permanently absent? Should “honoring” them extend to taking on the responsibility of in-home care?

In interviews, Li’l Kim is downplaying the rockiness of her relationship with her dad, but at age 15, she famously stabbed him with a pair of scissors during a physical altercation, which led to her being kicked out of the house. Now that he can no longer care for himself, it’s admirable that she’s stepping in to assist in his daily care.

Under similar circumstances, would you?

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