“Honour your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2-3 NKJV

As people transition to adulthood, one of the challenges that commonly confront them is navigating and relating with their parents. You will likely deal with issues like living under their roof probably because you are still saving up to move to your own apartment or worse still, you are unemployed and eating their food; being treated as a child and having your feelings and opinions strongly ignored. Yet, in all these scenarios, there is a strategic attempt to strike a balance between honouring them and acting in your own best interests.

In our opening text, we see that God’s desire is to always honour your parents in whatever situation that presents itself. In Genesis 9:20-23, we see Noah, who was the only holy man on earth during his time, falling into a mistake. Shem and Japheth honoured their father so much that instead of dwelling on their father’s flaws, they covered his father’s nakedness. They understood that although Noah was their father, he was not above mistakes and they shielded him. On the contrary, Ham chose to dishonour his father and he was cursed.

As we grow older, the dynamics of our relationship with our parents change but the instruction to honour them does not change. There might be moments in your life where God is leading you to do a particular thing that your parents are against. At such moments, you must learn to respectfully and prayerfully explain the reasons for your actions. You must learn to balance honouring your parents and following what God instructed you to do.

Moreover, it is important to recognise that some people do have toxic relationships with their parents. Cases where the conduct of the parents is clearly intolerable and you are not reasonably expected to continue putting up with such behaviour. What do you do? Honouring them can be translated as forgiving them for their imperfections. Forgiveness is easier said than done but we know that God through the Holy Spirit has given us strength to do his will (Philippians 2:13).

Honouring imperfect parents can also be seen as speaking well of them and respecting them in their absence, creating healthy boundaries and taking care of them to the best of your ability. It can also mean praying for them. When we pray for them, we see them in the light of Christ and are full of hope for their lives. 

Are you currently enjoying your relationship with your parents? Keep it up. Do you currently have an unpleasant relationship? Ask God for wisdom to navigate it. In Him lies the power to forgive, set boundaries as well as apply wisdom in communication and conduct. Open yourself to the workings of the spirit as He leads you through it all.

Parenting is God’s design to birth, nurture and guide you; honouring your parents is acknowledging God’s design and being thankful for it.

Bible Reading Plan: Matthew 12:  22- 50

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