The Bible says in Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God gives to you.”
When I ask people if they have kept this Commandment, they usually say ‘yes’. I have to assume that they are probably thinking that if they are generally getting along with their parents that means that they are honoring them. True, if we are honoring our parents, then we will make an effort to get along with them. But this verse is telling us to honor them. What does that mean? How do we honor people? What if the person that is supposed to receive honor isn’t worthy of receiving honor?
This verse has more to do with just obeying mom and dad, as important as that is. It is possible to obey someone without necessarily honoring them. We are to hold in high honor, the place of parenthood in our lives. We thank our parents for being our parents and respect their role as parents. We don’t try to buck their authority. We don’t belittle them, even just in our thinking. God has given us parents for our good. He gave them to us to set boundaries for us. Because we are selfish, we rebel against that. We don’t like rules. We think they are unfair. We are irritated because someone gets to tell us what to do. We can’t do whatever we want. That’s a good thing. Parents are there to help us learn the difference between right and wrong.
How do you respond to rules? Do they make you angry? Are you ok with the fact that you were placed in a family, either a biological one or an adoptive one? Are you grateful for their authority?
I understand that parents are not perfect either. They make mistakes. We know that is true because no one is perfect. God knows that too. But He still commands us to honor them, in spite of their imperfections.
So, what is your attitude when Mom or Dad says, “No, you can’t do that now” or “Be home by 11:00”? What about when they want you to make your bed or clean your room up? Think about how you have treated (or not treated) your parents, especially throughout your childhood, while you lived with them.
Remember, when you have failed, God can forgive you. You can look at your sin and ask God to change your heart. God can not only forgive you, but He gives you a new heart that doesn’t want to sin. He also gives His Holy Spirit to give you the power to overcome sin. He can do all this because of what Jesus did on the Cross, around 2,000 years ago. When Jesus was dying, God the Father put all your sins on His Son. Not only the sin of not honoring your parents, but anytime we break a Commandment, that is sin. That is why Jesus died, and rose again. Turn from your selfish ways and turn to God. Trust in what Jesus did on the cross to pay for all your sins. When that happens, the Bible says that the person who repents and trusts in Christ is saved. It also says that he or she is ‘born again’. The person who is saved is born into God’s family now. He or she becomes a new creature in Christ. And that is the best of news (Good News = Gospel). For more info, send an email to: RUgood@mail.com