May 3, 2011

What Does It Mean to Honor Your Father and Mother?

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12)
Today’s big question: what does it mean to honor your father and mother?
Perhaps many young adults, whether they are studying in college, starting a career or a family, may think this command does not apply to them. So what are a young adult’s responsibilities to his parents? As a child living in your parents’ home, your obedience to them comes right after obedience to God. Once married, the order only shifts slightly; your parents come second only to God and your spouse. Does this entail visiting every weekend and still doing the dishes and taking out the garbage? Probably not.
Jesus makes it clear that even when we move out, our responsibilities to our parents continue:
For Moses said, “Honor your father and your mother”; and, “He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.” But you say, “If a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban’—” (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do. (Mark 7:10–13)
Taking care of parents is a priority and should not be shirked by a hypocritical donation to the church. If you would rather make a special offering than help your parents with their bills, you are actually disobeying the Word of God and following in the footsteps of the Pharisees. This is a serious offense and should not be taken lightly.
The Bible includes more about the importance of providing for your family:
Honor widows who are really widows. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God . . . . But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:3–4, 8)
In biblical times (and in many parts of the world today), widows or elderly parents lived with and were taken care of by their children. Back then, they didn’t have government programs to assist them in old age. Taking care of an elderly parent is not to be ignored. For Christian sons or daughters not to care for their parents shows they are not truly reflecting the love of Christ and, therefore, are denying the very faith they proclaim.
Today’s big idea: as long as your parents are alive, you have a responsibility to them.
What to pray: ask God to give you the wisdom and strength to honor and care for your parents.


By: David Wright, AiG

3 comments:

Eric Barbour said...

What if your parent is suffering from an addiction to shopping that has caused her to use her children to trick the welfare system, other people, including their own children. What if you parent uses the child's credit cards, maxis them to the limit, writes bad checks to pay them off, then charges them up again, steals checks to by cars which causes your check to bounce on the 1st apartment you get yourself into, etc., etc..... How do you suggest you honor this type of parent?! Seriously please give me your perspective, I would really love to know if you believe that staging a one man intervention and cut this person off until the get help from someone you have suggested is considered bringing them honor? =)

Raising Godly Children said...

@Eric BarbourWhat that parent is doing is sin. And it would probably be best honorable for that child to report it to authorities, so that parent can be brought to repenance....

Anonymous said...

We are in a situation where we are raising 8 children on one income. My parents keep asking for help because of failing to manage their money in a responsible way. It is a source of contention in our marriage because I want to honor but feel a bit like they are taking advantage and should be managing their money better but my husband thinks that it is not our responsibility to provide for them.

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