Day 13: Honoring Father and Mother
Lord, may these children obey their parents and teachers in the Lord, for this is right. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I have often told my children that this is my favorite Bible verse! Of course, I am kidding—but not really. I do want them to obey. Obeying is a part of being a Christian. We must obey God, we must obey the laws of the land, we must “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s”, and yes, we must obey our parents. Honoring our father and mother, even when we are grown, is vital—so vital that it is included in the Ten Commandments and is the only commandment with a promise attached to it.
Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 5:16
In Genesis 5:1, Moses summoned all of Israel for these commandments. We tend to use this one to teach children to obey, but we must not forget that honoring our parents is a lifelong commandment.
But us parents have a bit of responsibility, too. We must not nag and control so much that we push them away into rebellion. Ephesians 6:4 says:
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
I must confess that I have, at times, exasperated my children. I have had to apologize on numerous occasions. And thankfully, my kids are quick to forgive. I think we tend to exasperate and nag and over-parent when we make an idol of their good behavior—when we make it about us, not about them. But these verses clearly point to Lord, not the parent. We should instruct them to please God above all—even above us.
Today, if you are blessed to have parents still living on this earth, find a way to honor them. We are never too old to honor our parents in the Lord, for this is right.