walk in the word
Family, Forgiveness, Spiritual Life
David Letterman is not the first person to come up with a Top Ten List. Actually, almost 3,400 years ago God gave His Top Ten—so the whole thing was sort of His original idea. We refer to God’s Top Ten as the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments reveal as much wisdom for us today as they have to any people in any generation.
Keeping on track with how you can invite transformation in your family, the word I want to talk with you about today is Honor. Number 5 on God’s top ten is “All children are commanded to honor their parents.”
The key word here is all. Small children to middle-aged adults never outgrow this command. Every race upon the earth. Every nation. Every culture. Honor your parents is a universal, eternal, biblical principle.
Hear me. Things will never go right with you and with your future generations until you truly submit to the biblical command to honor your parents—regardless of their success rating. It does not say, “Honor good parents.” It does not say, “Grade them on the curve.”
Honor means your attitude is matched by your actions. You communicate to your parents, “You are worthy. You are the person God sovereignly placed in my life. You may have failed me. You may have failed me or hurt me at times but I’m take off my judge’s robe and release you from the stand. I choose instead to see you with compassion as people with needs, concerns, and scars of your own. I honor you.”
Let’s understand first what honoring our parents does not mean.
It doesn’t mean to go back groveling and seeking their approval.
It doesn’t mean to make yourself vulnerable to their hurtful behavior.
Honoring our parents does not mean ignoring or denying the past.
Here is what it does means. It means choosing to place great value upon your relationship with them. It means recognizing the things they have done right. It means acknowledging the sacrifices that they have made for you. It means seeing them as Christ does with compassion and mercy. It means forgiving them as Christ has forgiven you.
Honor our parents, if only because God said so. Saying honoring things at their funeral is way too late. If you’ve stood in that place by a casket with a eulogy in hand and wished like anything the person for whom the words were written would wake up and hear them, you know what I mean. Do it now before the opportunity is gone.
I challenge you with one practical word. Make a choice to put your tribute in writing. Focus on the good that they have done.
In your own way, find a way to get it done. If your parents are not living, write it anyway and share it with your kids or your siblings. You need to show them how God has changed your heart. A tribute is one practical way that you can do that. There are other ways. Use your creativity and expect God not only to bless you, but to incredibly bless your parents.
God changes our families through your obedience. Certainly there is forgiveness and blessing, but don’t forget this neglected command: Children, honor your parents.
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