Honoring your parents seems like a simple commandment to follow, right? Well, sometimes our parents make it a little difficult, and sometimes we gets so focused on our lives or what we want that we forget that honoring our parents is just like honoring God.
Where is this Commandment in the Bible?
Exodus 20:12 - Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land theLord your God is giving you. (NLT)
Why This Commandment is Important
Honoring your parents is an important part of our daily lives. When we can learn to treat our parents with respect, we learn to treat God with respect. There is a direct correlation between how we treat our parents and how we treat God. When we don't honor our parents we become susceptible to things like bitterness and anger. When we allow other things to become excuses for not honoring our mothers and fathers, we make it easy for other things to come between us a God. Parents aren't perfect, so sometimes this commandment is hard, but it is one that we must strive to follow.
What This Commandment Means Today
We only have our parents for a short time in our lives. Some of us have wonderful parents who provide for us spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Honoring parents like that is much easier than honoring bad parents. Some of us have parents that are not that great at giving to us what we need or that have never been there for us. Does this mean we just don't honor them at all? No, it means that we need to learn to put the bitterness and anger aside and realize that, good or bad, those people are our parents. When we learn to forgive, we allow God to fill in the holes those parents left in our lives. We don't have to necessarily love those parents, and God will take care of the consequences for those parents, but we need to learn to move forward in our lives.
Still, even if we have the best parents in the world, it can be hard sometimes to honor them all the time. When we're teenagers, we're trying to become adults. It's a hard transition for everyone. So there are going to be times when things get rough between us and our parents. Honoring your parents doesn't mean agreeing with everything they say, but respecting what they have to say. For instance, you may think that an 11pm curfew is way to early, but you honor your parents by following it.
How to Live By This Commandment
There are several ways you can begin living by this commandment:
- Be fair. Your parents are people just like you. They are not perfect. They make mistakes. Be fair to your parents before you jump to conclusions.
- Think before you speak. It's easy to just say what's on your mind to family. Sometimes we speak harsher words that we should, because we don't always feel like we have to filter out what we say to our family. However, words can be hurtful.
- Talk things out with them. We want to make the best decisions possible, so when we have an issue with our parents, or even one that we're facing in our lives, sometimes it helps to talk things out with our parents. It allows parents to know how you're thinking and gives them a chance to weigh in with their life experience. It also helps your relationship to talk to them about what's going on in your life.
- Remind them you care. It's so easy to take family for granted. We think they'll always be there. Yet sooner than later we find that our time with our parents is far too short. Take some time to remind your parents that you love them.
- Learn to forgive. Holding onto anger and disappointment with our parents does nothing but fester inside of us. We need to learn how to forgive. Forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting, but it does mean letting go of what eats us up inside.