Does God want us to honor our parents? Or is that only for children?
Honoring Parents: Young and Old
The answer is yes! We need to honor our parents as we teach our children to honor us. The best way to teach your children to honor you is by example. When they see us honor our parents, they learn what honor means.
So, what does honor mean? To honor and respect our parents means that we have high regard for them. We love and appreciate them and are concerned about their well-being. We treat them with courtesy and thoughtful consideration. We seek to understand them better.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Do we have to honor if we disagree with our parents? While we might disagree on things, yes, we can still honor our parents.
Is there a time you stop honoring your parents? No! God instructs Christians to keep honoring their parents even when they are adults.
“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching; Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments about your neck.”
- God wants us to listen to our parents. We can learn a lot by listening to their sage advice. Of course, we aren’t required to do as they say, but there is no harm in hearing their thoughts.
- God works through imperfections. If your parents weren’t perfect, I encourage you to forgive them. Ask the Lord for wisdom to love them despite their shortcomings.
- God knows mistakes will be made and provides a way for us to handle them. We can learn from what we’ve done wrong, apologize, and move forward.
- God will bless you when you choose to honor your parents. This truth needs to be taught to our children by our example.
- God promises you will be blessed when you show honor to your parents.
I have a challenge for you: Find ways that you can show honor to your parents. What can you do to show honor? How can you teach your children to honor you as their parents? When you think about it, we show honor in three ways: what we say, what we do, and how we act. You show honor to others through your words, actions, and body language.
Three Ways to Show Honor to Parents
Words: It’s the simple things: saying thank you, giving a word of encouragement, and affirming them in what they are doing.
Actions: Invite your parents over. Asking for their advice or input when deciding on an important matter isn’t a sign of weakness or incompetence. Help them with tasks they might need assistance with like doing yard work, or deep cleaning, or taking them to the doctor. Or just spend time listening to them talk about their day.
Body language. We often think we only show honor through our words and deeds, but another way to show honor is by our body language. This means not showing displeasure through your tone of voice or facial expressions. Our parents may be older, but they still can sense when someone is annoyed or irritated with them. Learn to control your body language, communicate love, and strengthen your relationship with your parents.
The more you practice honoring your parents, the easier it becomes. Remember, honor comes from the heart! If your parents have passed away, you can still show them honor, by the way you speak about their life.
Don’t forget: When you fall short, you can always apologize and try again!
Ask the Lord to allow you to see through your parent’s eyes. Ask the Lord to reveal any heart issues you might be harboring against your parents or that your child might have against you. Ask him to help you pay careful attention to your body language. Commit to honoring your parents!
- Importance of Playtime for Children – ETB #76
- 3 Ways to Create Memorable Moments for Your Children – ETB #77
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