“Honor your father and you mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your GOD is giving you.”
For a long time I used to think this applied only as you lived under the roof of their house, but once out of the house, that commandment no longer applied. Boy, was I wrong.
In our culture we tend to honor people who we think have earned it-athletes, politicians, actors, musicians and other successful people. But GOD tells us to honor our parents not because of what they have done, but for who they are. It is sort of like going before the judge in a courtroom, I call him, “Your Honor.” I may not like him or his personality, but I honor him because of his position. The Bible does not say honor the sins or the mistakes parents make, but honor their position as authorities in the home. Like Jesus (the Son of GOD, Creator of all things, John 1:1-2) he “went down to Nazareth with [his parents] and was obedient to them,” (Luke 2:51).
Parents are placed over children by GOD’s design. To disrespect parents is to disrespect GOD. GOD desires we honor our parents because they are representatives of Him. The fifth commandment is the principle of honor. How do we practice this principle?
First, respect their role. Parents are appointed by GOD to be our teachers and guides, (Psalm 78:5-7). The role of parents is to initiate faith in the home. Second, value their advice. “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,” (Proverbs 13:1). When I began to live on my own is when I began to see and understand how wise my parents were. “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the LORD, (Colossians 3:20). Third, meet their needs. As my parents have gotten older and declined in their health, they have incredible needs. GOD has called us as children to honor our parents in their time of need. One of the most important tasks we can do is to visit them and call them. Letting them know we are thinking of them, especially in their loneliness, is a powerful act of love, kindness and respect. May the LORD GOD stir in our hearts the need to respect and honor our parents.