Honoring Parents

“Honour your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God will give you.”

Relationships are important to God.  He blessed Adam with a wife because He knew that man was not meant to be alone.  God encouraged this couple to be fruitful and multiply.  God is the One who blesses couples with children.  The Bible says that children are a gift from Him.  God wants parents to have healthy and loving relationships with their children.  He wants the children to respect the parents He has entrusted them to. This is so important to them that He included it as one of His commandments. 

The apostle had this to say to children and parents, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honour 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.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

Honouring ones parents will ensure that all goes well for those individuals and enjoying long life.  God is a fair God.  Not only are parents to be respected by the children but these parents should earn the respect of their children.  They should be godly examples and it is their duty to train them up so that they become god-fearing adults.  Joseph was a good father to Jesus.  He helped to raise Him and taught Him carpentry.  Jesus loved Mary so much that He made sure that she was taken care of when He was gone.  He entrusted her into the care of His disciple John.

There are many parents in the Bible whom we might find difficult to love, let alone respect.  King Saul is one example.  He was determined to kill kill David and when his son tried to reason with him, Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send and bring him to me, for he must die!”

“Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” Jonathan asked his father. But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David. 

The other example is King Herod’s wife, Herodias who used her daughter to get what she wanted.  The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”

She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?”

“The head of John the Baptist,” she answered.

At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother.  We don’t know if she was bothered by what she was told to do.  She didn’t disobey her mother.  She hurried to the king with the mother’s request.  This showed that she readily obeyed her mother even though the request was unusual.  Did it bother the girl that her mother was now with her uncle instead of her father?  How can one honor a parent who left her husband for her brother-in-law or who wanted to kill the prophet because his only crime was speaking the truth?

Some of us are thankful for the parents we have while others are not.  The Lord wants us to respect them or be good to them even when it is hard to do so.  We could learn from God who is good to us whether we deserve it or not.

Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-4; 1 Samuel 20:30-33; Mark 6:22-28


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