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Honoring Your Parents

By: David Lyda (From: Volume 1 - Issue 2)

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; 3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. (Ephesians 6:1-3)

To briefly summarize the importance of this command is a daunting task. Honoring your parents was important enough to be listed in the Ten Commandments and instructed on by Jesus and the Apostle Paul. 2 Timothy 3:2 includes disobedience to parents in the middle of blasphemers and unholy people when describing the behaviors that are to come in the end times. Scripture throughout the Old and New Testament make mention of the benefits and punishments in regards to obeying/disobeying and honoring/dishonoring your parents.

God has established many different authorities on earth, such as: government over citizens, churches over believers, husbands over wives, and it starts with parents over children. When children follow the authority of their parents, which the Lord has set in place, they will in return be good citizens, believers, and spouses. The Old Testament realized the severity of disobedience to parents, and it could result in capital punishment!

If a child was to strike or curse their parents, they were sentenced to death (Exodus 21:17). Likewise, if a child was continually disobedient to their parents, they were stoned by the elders as an example to others (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). Obeying and honoring your parents is serious business!

We grow up knowing that we are to obey our father and mother. Parents are quick to remind children of this too! Children are called to obey their parents “in the Lord.” God always takes precedent over any authority in this world, and our obedience to our parents is no different. Some children unfortunately have ungodly parents that may demand things from them that are not pleasing to God. We have a duty as God’s children to love and obey Him first (Matthew 10:37).

Other than this one exception to obeying our parent’s authority, we are to obey them in all things because as Paul stated “this is right.” What is right and good, but the things that are of God? It’s not a choice to obey but an obligation. Obeying our parents is obeying God, as it is a command of God. Disobedience is sin.

Our parents’ guidance is given to train us up in the way we should go (Proverbs 22:6), protect us, and correct us. Like many things, this is just for a season. We are not always under the protective guidance of our mother and father. Does this mean that the following of our parents’ commands will cease? In a way it does.

The family order that God has put in place does develop into new families. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24). A new family has been made and authority changes. Our obedience to our parents has changed. When we get married and/or leave home, we have to make choices for ourselves. If you remember the scripture though, we did not only have that previous commandment to obey our parents, but we are called to honor them! Though we are no longer under their commands, we are always to honor our parents. God gives no exceptions.

According to merriam-webster.com, honor is “to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect: to give special recognition to.” Do we as adults give our parents the respect that they deserve? Sadly, the answer is often “no.” We should take note that as part of the Ten Commandments, we are to “Honour thy father and thy mother…” (Exodus 20:12). The Apostle Paul also pointed out that we should obey our parents, but first and foremost we are to honor them.

In what ways do we dishonor our parents? Living lives that are displeasing to the Lord can sum it up. Our sin can bring dishonor to our family name and shame our parents. Sexual sins, drunkenness, substance abuse, physically abusing others, filthy language, and breaking of the law does not honor God, and it does not honor our parents. Sin causes pain and anguish for our Lord, and our parents definitely share in that as well.

We also dishonor our parents by harshly rejecting their godly counsel. They may no longer have authority over us, but does that mean we shouldn’t take advice from our parents? Proverbs 12:15 says “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” Our mothers and fathers have lived longer lives than us, and they have gained much knowledge in doing so. God is trying to bless us, but we too often reject because we “know it all.”

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