Honoring your parents

Why we need to honor our parents
We are commanded to do so

(Exo 20:12 NIV)  "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

(Eph 6:1-3 NIV)  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. {2} "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise-- {3} "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

(Deu 27:16 NIV)  "Cursed is the man who dishonors his father or his mother." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"

As in many commandments in the Bible, there are blessings if we obey and curses if we disobey. Nothing is neutral.

At this stage, we need to ask ourselves whether we are honoring our parents.

Our children imitate us

There was a story about a man and a woman who had an old grandfather living with them. At mealtimes he would get his food all over the table and floor and made a mess of the house. In the end the couple could not take it any longer and decided that the old grandfather would sit at a corner all by himself during mealtimes. One day the parents noticed the children playing. They seemed to be building something. “What are you building?”, the parents asked. “A little corner for you to eat in when you are old.” The parents realized that they have sent the wrong signals to their children. Yes, how we treat our parents would be how our children will learn to treat us.

How to honor our parents
Obeying them

(Eph 6:1-4 NIV)  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. {2} "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise-- {3} "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." {4} Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Obedience to our parents is one way to honor them. We are to obey our parents unless they ask us to do something that is against God’s laws.

Honoring them with our lips

(Isa 29:13 NIV)  The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.

God was unhappy that the people honored Him with their lips only and not with their hearts. Does that mean God does not want us to honor Him with our lips, to speak and sing of His praises? Of course not. He wants us to honor Him with both our lips and our hearts.

Likewise when we honor our parents, we need to do so with both our lips and our hearts. Look for opportunities to show appreciation to them verbally.

Honoring our parents in the wrong way

(Mat 10:37 NIV)  "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;

(Luke 18:29 NIV)  "I tell you the truth," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God

(Luke 9:59-60 NIV)  He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." {60} Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

While we are told to honor our parents, we are also told not to put our parents before God. Are our parents becoming an obstacle in our service towards the Lord?