“Honor your father and mother…” (Exodus 20:12). God values honoring parents so much he included it as one of the Ten Commandments.
To honor parents means to be respectful in word and action and having an inward attitude of esteem for their position. If you desire to please God and be blessed, you should honor your parents. Why should a person honor their parents?
Honor your parents because they know more than you.
Fathers & mothers learn something by the very process of living. It is a child’s right to share in this accumulated knowledge. If children will learn from their parents, they will be way ahead in life.
Mark Twain once said, “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to twenty-one I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”
We discover several Bible examples of honoring parents:
- Christ following his trip to Jerusalem – “And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them…” (Luke 2:51)
- “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” (Col. 3:20)
- “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:” (Prov. 6:20)
Honor your parents because disobedience is dangerous.
The penalty of disobedience to parents is severe. It is the same as the penalty for blasphemy against God.
- Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness. (Proverbs 20:20)
- The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. (Proverbs 30:17)
- For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. (Matthew 15:4)
A 40-year study that began in the 1940s may help parents understand the importance of teaching children to obey. Started in an effort to understand juvenile delinquency, the study followed the lives of 456 teenage boys from inner-city Boston, many from impoverished or broken homes. When they were compared at middle age, one fact stood out: regardless of intelligence, family income, ethnic background or amount of education, those who had worked as boys, even at simple household chores, enjoyed happier and more productive lives than those who had not.
Honor your parents because it makes it easier to your Heavenly Father.
Special blessings happen to those who obey this commandment. Why? Our earthly father & mother are our first glimpse of God. The way we respond to them will dictate our response to our Eternal Father throughout our entire life. Obedience to God gives blessings. All things being equal, those who obey God live a more blessed life than those who do not.
An Example of Honoring a Parent…
In 1993 workers doing some moving and remodeling at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, discovered something rather unusual. As they were moving a display cabinet, they found an old photograph tucked behind the case. It was a photo of a stocky, friendly-looking man in a baseball uniform with the words “Sinclair Oil” on the shirt.
Stapled to the picture was a note in a man’s scrawl that said, “You were never too tired to play ball. On your days off, you helped build the Little League field. You always came to watch me play. You were a Hall of Fame dad. I wish I could share this moment with you.”
No one knew how the picture got there or the identity of the dad in the photo. A national sports magazine picked up the touching story, and a man came forward to say that he had tucked the picture and the note behind the display case during a visit to the Hall of Fame.
It seems the ballplayer in the photo was this man’s late father. Just like the note said, this man was proud of his dad and believed he deserved to receive special recognition. So he decided to honor his father by holding his own little ceremony to induct his dad into the Hall of Fame.
What this man was saying was, “Dad, you deserve a place alongside the best ballplayers. You were a Hall of Fame father.” I want to be in that Hall of Fame, don’t you? Let’s be the kind of fathers and mothers who make it a joy and a delight for our children to obey God’s command, “Honor thy father and thy mother.”