April 15, 2005
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
All relationships begin with the family unit because it’s the laboratory of life. Everything we learn in life first comes from our families at home. We learn about self-esteem, confidence, intelligence, and values. As you grow up, you begin to relate to the values of your parents whether you realize it or not.
When it comes to honoring parents let me start by saying that there are no perfect parents. I know some of you are trying to be the first perfect parents, but “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We all have our failures and faults. And just as there will never be perfect children, there will never be perfect parents.
For children, the first way to honor your parents is by obeying and respecting them. Every person is born with a bent toward rebellion and an inclination to go our own way and do our own thing. And that includes rejecting our own parents and their ways at times. But to honor our parents means that we willingly, lovingly, and with an attitude of cooperation, obey and respect them. This is God’s plan for every person.
Children need to cooperate willingly with their parent’s wishes and accept and appreciate their guidance. As you get older in life, you begin to realize that your parents do have some genuine faults as all people do. And if you’ve had a painful relationship with one or both of your parents, the first step to accepting them is to forgive them. Children also need to affirm their parents—especially those single parents who are going at it alone. And adult children of older parents are certainly encouraged to show affirmation simply by staying in touch, making a call, writing a letter, or being there to visit.
No matter their age, if your parents are not taken care of by you, the Bible says you’re living and acting like an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8). Begin by following the fifth commandment of honoring and respecting your parents, and teaching your children to do the same.
THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR CHILD IS TO LEAD THEM
TO KNOW AND LOVE JESUS CHRIST. IF THEY KNOW AND LOVE
HIM, THEY WILL HONOR AND RESPECT YOU.