Honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2-3 NLT
“I’ll talk to you when I’m ready” were the final words they heard.
Jamie was mad at his dad and stepmom. His stepmom had discovered she had a brain tumor. Jamie’s dad posted the news on Facebook and asked friends to pray while technicians performed the MRI. Jamie’s dad didn’t text him with the news until the following day—but Jamie saw the news on Facebook.
Anger consumed Jamie. His dad and stepmom didn’t know it until they got no response to their calls and texts. Finally, their daughter-in-law told them what was wrong with Jamie. They both apologized to him. Nothing. Thanksgiving passed. No visit from Jamie, their daughter-in-law, or their grandson. Christmas approached. Again, Jamie’s parents apologized, assured Jamie of their love, and invited him and his family to join them for their traditional Christmas gathering. Nothing. Christmas came and went without Jamie.
Jamie didn't contact his dad and stepmom for many months. His dad gently reminded him you can’t recapture lost time.
In the previous verse, Paul instructs children to obey their parents, but in these verses tells them to honor them. If they do, things will go well for them and they will have a long life. Paul speaks of the norm, of course, for many children have honored and obeyed their parents but died at young ages.
Honoring and obeying have at least one distinction. While underage and under their parents’ authority, children should obey their parents—whether they agree with the rules their parents establish or not. With the exception of when parents tell them to do something that violates God’s commands. Obedience includes honor.
After children leave the nest, obedience becomes an option—but honoring doesn’t. Honor is lifelong. Honoring remembers how the parents have met the child’s needs, recalls the love that brought the child into the world, and reflects on all the sacrifices parents made for their children. Of course, exceptions exist when children are abused physically, mentally, and emotionally. God understands these situations.
No parent is perfect—nor is any child. Letting love rule makes the honoring children should do much easier. Love forgives and looks beyond the failures and mistakes parents make and helps the child honor their parents for who they are.
Honor your parents, regardless of how old you are or how old they are.
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Prayer: Father, give us the strength to obey and honor our parents as we do You.