“Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”- Exodus 20:12 NIV
We talked about loving our siblings yesterday; today, we’ll talk about honouring our parents. Disregard for parental authority appears to be widespread in today’s culture. We have an alarming number of people who are ungracious to their parents, as warned in 2 Timothy 3:2. While this is common in the world, God expects His children to act differently. The standard in Scripture is honour.
Your parents deserve to be honoured because of who they are. This is not optional or negotiable; you are simply carrying out God’s instructions! He does not say, “Honour your good father and mother.” This means that your attitude and behaviour toward your parents must be one of honour, regardless of whether you believe they are deserving. The commandment also has no age restriction. It doesn’t end when you reach the age of eighteen, when you move out of your parents’ house, or when you get married; it lasts forever.
In Ephesians 6:2, Apostle Paul emphasises that the first commandment with a promise is to honour one’s parents. This promise, however, should not be viewed as an inducement. Honour your parents not just because you want to live a long life or so that things go well for you. Respect them because God expects it of you. He established their position of authority in your life; thus, you are to honour your parents simply because God said so (Leviticus 19:3).
To honour someone means to hold them in high regard. God has placed your parents in your life as guides, so respecting their authority by following their instructions is the right thing to do (Ephesians 6:1, Colossians 3:20).
Never belittle them or speak negatively about them. Forgive what needs to be forgiven, keep a healthy distance if necessary, but let honour be a constant in your life. Keep in mind that God’s word supersedes all other authority. So, when obeying your parents, make sure that their orders or requests do not contradict His word.
Another way to honour your parents is to look after them, particularly in their old age. This includes not only financial but also physical care. Never keep it from them. Care for your parents out of love and honour, as well as because the Bible commands it.
You might have been born into a home where the parents were either abusive or neglectful. It’s hard and God will strengthen you to behave kindly towards them. Never talk rudely to them or speak negatively about them. Forgive what needs to be forgiven, keep a healthy distance if you need to, but let that honour never be lacking in your life.
Bible Reading Plan: Genesis 26