Honour

  • “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”  ( Exodus 20:12)
  • “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1)
The Lord Jesus required us to obey His Word, if we love Him. His Word which tells us that we should honour and obey our parents and we must do so in obedience to God, if we are to call ourselves His children who want to walk with Him and receive His blessings, His leading and guidance.
The Word of God also tells us that it is to our benefit to obey our parents. We see in the life of the Lord Jesus, that He obeyed God, honoured and obeyed his earthly parents, and so, He grew “in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and man.” (Luke 2:52). Proverbs 13:1 reinforces this idea “A wise son heeds his father’s instructions, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.”
Honouring parents is about our attitude of respect towards them. Grudging obedience and obedience without honouring is meaningless as the spirit of the child will be in agreement to his/her action. As children grow, they will invariably become more knowledgeable and better at performing certain tasks than their parents. Young people may then experience disappointment in their parents’ capabilities and feel that they need not listen to someone who is their inferior in knowledge. But we see that the Bible is not talking about ability or knowledge, because it is a part of God’s design that people get less physically able as they grow old. But, physical weakness does not imply mental, emotional inability. Even when there comes a time when mental ability deteriorates, the requirement remains of us that we honour our parents. Scorn or lack of respect towards parents will have negative effects on our own lives. Proverbs 23:22 says, “Listen to your father who gave you life and do not despise your mother when she is old.”
Our parents have lived much longer than we have, faced life in different circumstances and have learned in the school of experience. The practical and sensible thing to do is to take their advice and learn from their experience, which will make us richer. Secondly, no one on earth will love us as our parents do. We may find a young and attractive life partner who will mean more to us than everyone and everything else, and this is God’s design for our lives. But that love we will share is different from parental love. Until such time as one becomes a parent, one will not understand the quality and depth of parental love, which is a reflection of God’s love. This is a lifelong love, which will not cease and the quality of which will not change as the child grows into adulthood, even though the role of the parent will have to change. Thirdly, our parents want the best for us and they have learned, through the years, the right way of making choices and reaping best results. We can pick their brains and avoid so much mistakes and heartaches for ourselves, if we obey God’s word.
Parents also have an important part to play in leading their children to honour and obey God’s Word. Children do not come into this world knowing God’s requirements of them. It is our responsibility to instruct them and ensure that they follow the word of God, so that they will receive God’s blessings.
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Fathers should not provoke negative responses from their children by partiality, harsh demands or unreasonable behavior but by constructive correction and teaching, nurture them to become responsible adults.
Older women are asked to“...train the young women to love their husbands and children” Titus 2:4. The word Paul uses for ‘love’ in this verse means caring, nurturing, befriending and embracing. Mothers are also asked to discipline children, but in a nurturing manner.
A child should also respect his parents because the parent-child relationship provides the basis for his attitudes towards all other people. His concept of parental authority becomes his measure of all other sources of authority in later years: church, school, society and workplace. If the authority of the parents has been an easy thing to ignore and overcome, all other forms of authority will be viewed likewise.
If the parents want their child to accept their values when he reaches his teen years, then they must be worthy of his respect during his younger years. If his parents do not earn his respect, he will not want to identify with anything they represent. “This is most important for Christian parents who want to sell their concept of God to their children. They must sell themselves first.” Dr James Dobson.
So, as we will celebrate Mothers’ day and Fathers’ day in the near future, let us all remember our parents with love and appreciation, continue to honour them, repent and put things right if we have done otherwise, so that our “days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving” us also that our children may receive the promises God has made for righteous parents.