walk in the word
“Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 5:16, esv).
Honor is a big deal to God. The theme of honor runs throughout the pages of Scripture. Not only should we honor God, but we’re also commanded to honor our parents.
In Deuteronomy 5:16, the fifth commandment—to honor our fathers and mothers—is repeated with a blessing, “that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you . . . ” This is a universal command, for all people at all times. And in our culture, which places a high premium on individuality, this command is particularly transformative. Regardless of your parents’ success rating, God commands His people everywhere, “Honor your father and your mother.”
The Hebrew term for honor means literally “a heavy weight” or “to lay it on them.” Far more than surface flattery, biblical honor is a sincere attempt to identify what your parents have done right and praise them for those things.
This does not mean groveling or seeking their approval, making yourself vulnerable to their hurtful behavior, or denying the past. It does mean:
The relationship between a parent and child is so powerful that no negative circumstance can completely sever that bond. Perhaps you’ve had a painful and stormy pattern with your parents, or you’ve drifted apart over time. Perhaps they long to reach out to you or you to them, but a volatile mix of love, frustration, and unforgiveness seems to keep you from connecting. If that cycle is to be broken, someone has to go first. After all, your kids will grow up and treat you the way they’ve observed you treat your own parents.
Honoring your parents happens over time in a thousand, little, everyday things. Regardless of the history with your mother and father, you can begin making family time a time for honor.
Father God, You are the only perfect parent. Though my parents are imperfect (like me), I choose to honor them, because You command me to. Help me to see the good in them. Help me to forgive them. Help me to honor them in a way that’s meaningful. As I choose to obey You, may it go well with me, as You promised. Thank You in advance for what You will do in my parents and in me. In the name of my Savior and friend, Jesus, amen.
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