Today's Reading: Ephesians 6:1-4; Exodus 20:12
God’s command to honor our parents is consistent with His divine order. He knows what is best for us. He loves us. He made us. That is why He issues this command and connects this promise into His basic plan for mankind. Just as we will live forever because we honor the Lord our God, so it is that we are given the promise of a well-lived, fruitful and happy life when we honor our parents.
The promise of a long life is the promise of God’s lifelong protection, guidance, deliverance and provision. Surely, there is hardly anything more precious than living in a loving relationship with your parents. In fact, you did not choose your parents. God did. And His design is for you to live your entire life in a continual state of honor and blessing.
Just as all believers give honor to almighty God and receive bountiful joy in return, so it is that children who give honor to their parents receive “boatloads” of joy in return. It is the law of God! Both my wife and I can bear testimony to this divine fact.
So, permit me to give you what I call the “Seven Keys to Honoring Parents.”
1) Value your parents’ world. No matter how old they are, they are living in a world that is highly relevant and valuable to them.
2) Respect your parents’ age. Don’t mock their limitations and inabilities. Love them in it.
3) Model your parents’ godly attributes. You know the many things they said and did that simply blessed your life, so go and do likewise! It honors them and the Lord. Besides, if it blessed you, just think how much it will bless their grandchildren.
4) Protect your parents’ individual dignity. The older they become, the more they will cherish your hedge of protection. Remember, they protected you when you were just starting out!
5) Fulfill your parents’ essential joy. Make it your business to find out what gives them joy. Sometimes it is as simple as a regular phone call—and please answer their calls. It makes their day.
6) Provide for your parents’ basic needs. Make certain you are not feasting at the king’s table while your precious parents are living on cans of baked beans! And, by the way, make sure they are eating right.
7) Just do it: Honor your God-given responsibility. Just do it. God said it. You will be so glad you did.