The Bible says in Ephesians 6:2, “Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise.” I personally believe that honoring our parents is a big part of our Christian duty. What does it mean to honor our parents? To honor basically means, “to regard with great respect or to hold in high esteem.” When we honor our parents, we choose to think highly, value, cherish, and appreciate them. Today, I want to share three practical ways to honor our parents.
We honor our parents by accepting their authority. When you live with your parents or when they support you financially, the best way to honor them is to do what they tell you to do. I often advise young people; “parent’s house, parent’s rules.” The Bible says it best in Colossians 3:20, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” In my opinion, there is nothing more disrespectful than someone living in your house, eating your food, and trying to live by their own rules. If you want to honor your parents while living in their home, follow their rules.
We honor our parents by respecting the POSITION, when we cannot respect the PERSON. Unfortunately, all biological parents are not good examples of parenthood. In cases like this, it can be a bitter pill to swallow to honor parents who have given you little or no love and support. I’m not suggesting that you invite a toxic, absentee parent back into your life. I’m simply saying that as a Christian, you should never allow someone else’s bad behavior to turn you into a mean-spirited, vindictive person. Here is how David handled a toxic relationship with his former mentor King Saul. 1 Samuel 26:8-9 tells the story, “Abishai said to David, today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t strike him twice. (9) But David said to Abishai, don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD’S anointed and be guiltless?” David remembered a life principle we often forget; two wrongs don’t make a right. Never let someone else’s bad behavior rub off on you.
We honor our parents by supporting them in their senior years. As parents get older, our roles reverse. We begin to take care of them when they are old, just like they took care of us when we were young. For example, they drove you around when you were young, now they may need you to drive them around in their golden years. They helped you with your grooming when you were young, now they may need your assistance them in that area. Yes, as time passes, our roles will often reverse. I like the way Paul puts it in 1 Timothy 5:4, “But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.” It is a biblical principle; God expects us to take care of our aging parents.
Yes, honoring our parents is a big part of our Christian duty. We honor our parents by accepting their authority, respecting the POSITION when we cannot respect the PERSON, and by supporting them in their senior years. I leave you today with Proverbs 23:22, “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”