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<< Daily New Life with Steve Arterburn

New Life Daily Devotion - Feb. 24, 2010

  • 2010 Feb 24

Honoring Our Parents
Deuteronomy 5:16

We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

We may feel a confusion of emotions as we relate to our parents. This is true especially if we've been abused during our childhood and bear the scars of that abuse. We may have been taught that failing to honor our parents is a sin. This raises some disturbing questions. How can we honor someone whose actions have been anything but honorable? Does this mean that we stay under their control and yield to their manipulations in order to please God?

The Bible does say, "Honor your father and mother, as the LORD your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you" (Deuteronomy 5:16). The word honor comes from a root word meaning "heavy"; it implies fixing weighty value on the relationship. We are to place high value on our parents' role in our lives.

This does not mean, however, that they have the right to destroy our lives just because they brought us into the world. Even Jesus said, "I have come to set a man against his father, [and] a daughter against her mother. . . . Your enemies will be right in your own household!" (Matthew 10:35-36).

As we evaluate our lives, we can honor our parents by realizing the heavy impact they have had on us. We don't have to let them manipulate and abuse us in order to please God. But we can still choose to love them, even though we may need to set up boundaries in the relationship.

We can best honor our parents by the way we live our lives.