Honoring your Mother and Father…

Father’s Day is right around the corner so I thought I would write about honoring our parents.  I am aware there are a lot of horror stories out there about neglected and abused children. This grieves my heart.  So please be aware I am writing about the rule, how I believe God intended man to live and not the exceptions.  Maybe later we could deal with the subject; ‘fathers do not provoke your children to wrath.’  I am aware that this commandment and even an article about this commandment may be hard for many to receive. Especially those who have been manipulated mistreated or abused by their parents.

It’s no secret that families are fragmenting at an alarming rate.

The average marriage in America lasts 7 1/2 years.  Sixty percent of all second marriages fail.  Every thirty seconds there is a divorce in America.  Many children, small and grown ups alike are divorcing their parents. If not legally, they do it emotionally and psychologically.

Honoring your father and mother is one of Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20:12.  For all who attended Sunday school you know it as the fifth commandment.

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land.”

There is no time limit or age limit on this.  It just says honor your father and mother. It didn’t say you must respect their character or agree with their practices. It says honor them or honor the position of parenthood.  It doesn’t say anything about the children’s age. You may be 80 years old and your parents 100, you are still to honor your father and mother.

I.  WHY DID GOD GIVE THIS COMMANDMENT? 

1.  First let’s state the obvious.  There are no perfect parents. All of us have weaknesses, faults, inconsistencies, and continually make mistakes.  Only God is the perfect parent.  Even the best parents have made mistakes and done wrong.  The Bible says, “We’ve all sinned.”  As a result we’re all warped.  I saw a book the other day entitled, I’m Dysfunctional, and You’re Dysfunctional.  That about sums it up!  None of us have perfect parents and if you’re a parent you’re not a perfect parent either.

There are many parents who are unworthy of honor.  Maybe they were manipulative, abusive, thoughtless and even neglectful.  What is God telling me to do?

Am I supposed to ignore the pain, put on a happy face, frequent their company, and pretend everything is great?  No, you’re not.  But God is saying I want you to honor the position of parenthood.

There are three sources of authority in life:  the home, the church, and the government.  Each of these entities have their own roles, responsibilities and functions.  They are the basis for an orderly society.  God wants us to honor the position of parenthood regardless of the personalities behind it.

2.  Respect for authority begins at home. This is a critical lesson that every child must learn.  It determines how well you’re going to do at school, in your career, in all your relationships.  The child who grows up saying, “Nobody tells me what to do!” is going to have a hard time keeping a job, and even remaining in a marriage.  There are a lot of times you have to do what somebody tells you to do whether you want to or not.  So God wants us to learn to respect authority.

When you go before a Judge and you say, “Your honor”, you’re not

making a ‘value judgment’ about the Judge’s character — he may be a jerk.  You’re saying “Your honor”, because you are showing respect for the position. God says He put parents in a position of authority over us in our early age. Even as we grow older and are no longer under their authority we are to honor them.

3.  How I relate to my parents will affect every other relationship? It’s the major forming factor in your life.  Your style of relating is set at home.  Even today, as a grown up, when you act in ways you don’t understand and you can’t figure out your own behavior, many times it’s because you’re still reacting to your parents.

Many marriages have been ruined because a spouse has never resolved a relationship with a parent and they’re taking it out on their husband or wife or kids.  They say things like “You’re just like my mom.”  Surveys have shown that people who get along with their parents have far less stress in their lives.

Oh, by the way. Forwarding or sending this to your children is not a good idea. This is about you and your parents not your children and their parents.  You’re welcome.

About Ron

Ron and Anne founded the first Christian Fellowship Church in Harlingen, Texas in 1982. Ron presently serves as its apostolic overseer. He travels nationally and internationally motivating and challenging people to be effective in their call and ministry to their local church, their community, and the marketplace.

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