2: “Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise–
3: SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.…
I have been thinking about this subject a lot lately.
My father recently suffered a few strokes.
He has and always will be my HERO.
I love and adore my parents.
I am their baby girl, no matter how old I become.
I am very lucky to have been raised by them both.
The safest place in this entire world for me has always been sitting in my daddy’s lap.
That is the place I could always go to find comfort from my pain, or fears.
So watching him suffer this past month has really made me think about my role as his daughter.
I have really been giving some thought to the question of, “Have I honored him?”
What does it really mean to honor your father and mother?
I would like to explore that subject today.
God has commanded all Christians to honor their parents… with a no exception clause!
“It’s very simple: honor your father and mother.
There’s no fine print
And no footnotes.
There is so many conflicting ideas about what exactly it means to honor your father and mother.
I believe that much of that confusion comes from popular teachings of prominent psychologists like Sigmund Freud,
who suggested, “We need to kill our father to liberate ourselves and live free.”
But according to the Bible, this is the essence of all our trouble.
“We separate ourselves from our earthly mother and father…
to our own destruction and demise because when we choose to sin,
we choose to suffer.”
To honor means to respect, to defer, to submit.
Honoring a person means that you have love, appreciation, affection towards them.
Honor is something that begins internally, and then it manifests itself externally.
When you have honor in your heart, it will come out in your actions.
When God issued this commandment to Moses on Mount Sinai,
He demonstrated His sovereign plan for real relationships.
God designed parent-child relationships to be among the most vital of all human relationships.
This may be why He spoke not only of honor, but also attached the promise of “long life” to His command in
Exodus 20:12: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
In Proverbs 6:20-23, God’s Word tells us to pay attention to our fathers and to listen to our mothers.
We are to hold their instructions in our hearts and tie them around our necks.
In return, we receive guidance, protection, teaching and discipline—
four ingredients no one can afford to live without.
This command is certainly not a simple suggestion from God!
It is a very serious exhortation to all of us.
As I was researching this subject, I found an amazing quote written by, Don Wilton. He wrote;
“We are living in a time when
God is being humanized,
Genders are being neutralized,
Marriage is being ostracized
And children are being victimized.
The family is being trivialized,
Fathers are being demonized,
Mothers are being marginalized,
Roles are being disenfranchised
And God’s order is being vandalized!”
Phew! and AMEN!
God’s command to honor our parents is consistent with His divine order.
He knows what is best for us.
He loves us.
He made us.
That is why He issues this command and connects this promise into His basic plan for mankind.
Just as we will live forever because we honor the Lord our God,
So it is that we are given the promise of a well-lived, fruitful and happy life when we honor our parents.
(This is a recent picture of my dad and younger brother along with his kids and mine helping grandpa get his new calf home)
As I look back over my life, it is painfully obvious to me that during the times of trial and suffering, I was doing things that my parents had counseled against doing.
I was suffering because I was ignoring the love and wisdom that had been freely offered to me by my father and mother.
I have learned to not question their authority.
I have a very strong testimony of the truth in the promise of this scripture.
When we honor our parents, our lives are fruitful and happy.
Surely, there is hardly anything more precious than living in a loving relationship with your parents.
In fact, you did not choose your parents.
And His design is for you to live your entire life
In a continual state of honor and blessing.
I would like to share the 7 keys to honoring your parents.
These were also taken from an article written by Don Wilton.
1) Value your parents’ world.
No matter how old they are,
they are living in a world that is highly relevant and valuable to them.
2) Respect your parents’ age.
Don’t mock their limitations and in abilities.
Love them in it.
3) Model your parents’ godly attributes.
You know the many things they said and did that simply blessed your life,
so go and do likewise!
It honors them and the Lord.
Besides, if it blessed you, just think how much it will bless their grandchildren.
4) Protect your parents’ individual dignity.
The older they become, the more they will cherish your hedge of protection.
Remember, they protected you when you were just starting out!
5) Fulfill your parents’ essential joy.
Make it your business to find out what gives them joy.
Sometimes it is as simple as a regular phone call—and please answer their calls.
It makes their day.
6) Provide for your parents’ basic needs.
Make certain you are not feasting at the king’s table while your precious parents are living on cans of baked beans!
And, by the way, make sure they are eating right.
7) Just do it:
Honor your God-given responsibility.
Just do it.
God said it.
You will be so glad you did.
As I read over his list of 7 traits, I paused asked myself how I was doing in all of these areas, and what I could be doing better at.
I was born of goodly parents, who taught me to love and honor God.
They taught me to be honest, and dependable.
They showed me how to see the beauty in the world.
I learned how to be a good friend from them.
I am rasing my children with the same values and ethics that they raised me with.
I love my parents.
They mean everything to me.
I pray that I am honoring them with my life.
Today, if you are able to, take a few minutes and call your parents and tell them …