HONORING YOUR PARENTS
“Honor your father and mother— which is the
first commandment with a promise— that it may go well with you and that you may
enjoy long life on the earth."
I was thinking about this text on the week before Mother’s Day. We all know, of course, that Mother’s Day is not a traditional Christian holiday; the legend is that it was started by a greeting card company to boost sales. Who knows? Still, it is not a non-Christian idea. Clearly we are to “honor our parents” and celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day at least points us in the right direction.
So what does it mean to honor our parents and how do we do it? Well, the first and easiest answer is in the verse right before those quoted above. Eph. 6:1 says: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” OK, that’s pretty obvious. But what if we aren’t children anymore? When children become adults, they are no longer under their parent’s authority to obey them; adult Christians are responsible for their own households. But does that mean that they no longer need to be concerned about honoring their parents? Hardly! So, how do grown people honor their parents?
The word “honor” carries with it the concept of value and respect. To those ideas the Old Testament adds the concept of “making weighty” (i.e., acknowledging the significance of something). Even though most of us are no longer dependent on our parent’s care and direction they certainly remain significant in our lives, and the consequences of their nurture still guides our path to some extent. Even parents who are gone can be honored in our memories and we can be grateful for their love and care. And remember, God didn’t say, “Honor fathers and mothers;” He said, “honor YOUR father and mother.” So this is something that only you can do.
--- Pastor Keith