“Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. 2“Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:1-3
There’s a story about “a mother that had scrimped and saved to put her son through college. She sat in her son’s graduation. She watched as he walked across the platform and received his degree with honors. As he walked down the aisle, instead of turning into the designated row, he kept walking; down to where his mother sat. The young man threw his arms around her neck, kissed her on the cheek, and as he placed his diploma in her hands, he said, “Here, Mother, you earned it!”
This story is quite the opposite of what media and Hollywood is somehow teaching our children nowadays. I’ve recently watched a video clip about two famous brothers in Hollywood who teamed up to sue their own mother for spending their earned money. And this is not a new story. We’ve seen and heard news about such similar stories.
It is sad that in today’s generation, there aren’t that many children who hold their parents in high regard. And it is far from what the Scripture is teaching us.
The Lord summed the Ten Commandments in to two. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27
The first commandment deals with our vertical relationship, our relationship to God. And the second deals with our horizontal relationship, our relationship to others.
One cannot go without the other. Both are very important for as it is said in 1 John 4:20, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”
The first list in the command of loving our neighbors is to honor our parents. Exodus 20: 12-17
And why should we honor our parents?
First, because God commands it.
Second, because that is the right thing to do.
Third, so that it may “go well” with us.
Fourth, so that we may “live long on earth”.
How should we then honor our parents?
1. By living wisely. Obey them.
2. By serving them. Love them.
3. By appreciating them. Speak to them lovingly.
4. By valuing their advice. Listen to them.
No matter who they are, they may have done good or bad, they still deserve to be honored and be loved. Our parents are God’s gift to us.