Honoring Parents

Guest post by Mark Peterson We might think that honoring parents is a principle that we adults need to teach our children, and we would we right. However, we would be wrong to think that our responsibility to honor our parents ever goes away. The need, no, the requirement upon all people to honor their parents has never been more real, for it is a reflection of our relationship with God.

In Matthew 15 Christ addresses people who have rationalized their ungodly behavior toward their parents, indeed, their neglect of their parents as the righteous action of one who turns their attention to serving God. However, Christ clearly disagrees with their rationalization. They believe that they are honoring God by neglecting their parents in order to observe religious traditions. He, on the other hand, argues that what they are in fact doing is honoring God with their lips when in fact their hearts are far from him.

You see, any time we disobey a commandment of God we are demonstrating that our hearts are far from Him. We must teach our children that in order to disobey us they must also disobey God and thus reveal a heart that is far from Him. However, we must not just teach them by enforcing the rules we set for them, but by also modeling a behavior of honor toward our own parents, both living and dead. This may be difficult for some. Past relationships with parents may make today's relationship strained or non-existent. We must pray for grace to overcome the barriers. Physical distance may make caring for our parents difficult. We must pray for wisdom to know how to honor them and not neglect them.

I encourage us all with this word: We love God and want that love to be evident. One way to demonstrate to Him and to the world that we love Him is to Honor our parents. May He give us the grace and the wisdom necessary to do so.