What Does the Bible Say About Stealing From Your Parents?
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What Does the Bible Say About Stealing From Your Parents?

Stealing from your parents is a serious offense. The Bible has much to say about honoring your father and mother, providing for family members, and respecting others’ property. Though situations may seem desperate, God offers hope and help for getting through difficulties the right way. This post will explore the biblical principles regarding stealing from parents and offer guidance for making wise choices.


The Bible contains over 50 references about honoring your father and mother (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:1-3, etc.). God commands children to show utmost respect for their parents. Stealing from mom and dad undermines their position as caretakers. It diminishes the child-parent relationship God established.

Though challenging circumstances may tempt people to take matters into their own hands, stealing goes directly against God’s commands. It puts personal desires before care for others. There are always better solutions than theft when seeking God’s wisdom.

Here are key takeaways about what the Bible says on stealing from parents:

  • Stealing from parents is a serious violation of God’s commands to honor them
  • Difficult circumstances should drive us closer to God, not push us to sin
  • God is faithful and will help those who seek Him rather than sin
  • Repentance is needed, but God offers forgiveness when we turn from sin
  • Restitution should be made whenever possible

The rest of this post will expand on these themes. We’ll look at specific Bible passages about this issue and how to make things right with God and family when stealing occurs. The goal is to gain a biblical perspective on why stealing from parents is wrong and how God can restore relationships when it happens.

Honoring Parents is a Fundamental Commandment

One of the Ten Commandments directly addresses the need to honor your father and mother (Exodus 20:12). God felt this was important enough to include in His core laws for humanity. The Bible mentions this command over 50 times because of its foundational importance.

Ephesians 6:1-3 says:

“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.’” (Ephesians 6:1-3 NKJV)

This command to honor parents comes with a promise of blessing for those who follow it. God desires order and respect across family relationships.

Proverbs repeatedly warns about dishonoring parents and ignoring their teaching (Proverbs 15:5, 13:1, 30:17). When children steal from their parents, it represents a deep level of rejection and rebellion. Though situations may seem desperate, God’s way is always to extend honor.

Hard Times Should Drive us Closer to God

It’s easy to justify sin when facing hard times. The added pressures and lack of resources can cloud judgment. In these moments, the Bible urges drawing nearer to God rather than sinning:

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV)

God is eager and willing to provide. He can open doors and create ways that seem impossible.

For example, when the Israelites were trapped between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s chariots, the situation seemed hopeless. But God miraculously parted the waters to offer escape (Exodus 14). He wants us to trust in Him fully, no matter how desperate things may appear.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)

Rather than stealing, God calls for prayer, faith, and seeking His wisdom. He will show another way, though it takes patience and discernment to recognize at times.

God Offers Forgiveness When We Repent

Since we’re all prone to sin, God offers forgiveness when we turn from it. Upon sincere repentance, He redeems what’s been lost.

When the Prodigal Son took his inheritance early and squandered it through reckless living, he ended up desperate and envious of pigs’ food. But upon returning home with humility, his father welcomed him joyfully (Luke 15:11-32).

1 John 1:9 says:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NKJV)

Though consequences may still follow sinful choices, God’s grace is bigger. He looks at the heart motive in repentance.

If you’ve stolen from parents, come clean. Confess your sin and make it right as much as possible (more on restitution below). God will forgive completely and help repair trust. He specializes in reconciliation.

Restitution Should Be Made if Possible

Confession and repentance are the necessary first steps after stealing. But the Bible also instructs making restitution.

When Zacchaeus the tax collector was converted, he immediately offered restitution, saying:

“Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.” (Luke 19:8 NKJV)

Note that Zacchaeus offered far more than what he took. Making things right and then some is the heart behind biblical restitution.

Though your parents may freely forgive you upon repentance, the Bible says to take initiative in paying back what was stolen if possible. This makes reconciliation complete.

If what was stolen is gone or unrecoverable, discuss other ways to make amends. Work and save up to repay them. Do extra chores around the house. Anything to try restoring what was lost.

Restitution shows the sincerity of your confession and desire to walk rightly with God. It helps re-establish trust and good standing.


Stealing from parents is a serious violation of God’s commands to honor them. Though situational pressures may seem to necessitate it, God always provides another way for those who seek Him. Upon repentance, His grace offers full forgiveness. Make every effort to also pursue restitution. God can redeem what’s been lost and restore relationships. His principles serve as guardrails from hurtful choices and point the way back to wholeness. Ultimately, He wants His people living in righteousness, peace and joy.

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.