Honor Your Father and Mother

Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.                       Exodus 20:12 (HCSB)

What does it mean to give “honor” to your parents? I think it means that I do things that reflects well on them. Sometimes that is a troubling Scripture to me.

I know many parents who are extraordinary. They love their children. They support them with their time and prayers as well as meeting their physical needs. And though they see their children as they are, they love them as they can be. They teach their children more by their example than with their voice. They want so much to be good parents and they know they can only do it with the strength and wisdom of God.

I know some parents who did not do those things. They may not have had good examples. They may have had difficult problems of their own. They may have been “stuck” in their own childhood and so they never learned and grew in wisdom (maturity).  They didn’t choose to reach out and grab the hand of the One who was always there.

Most of us would find our own parents somewhere in both of the above paragraphs. They weren’t perfect. They tried. They cared. As their children, we may have read God’s command to honor our parents and found there were days that this was difficult. Maybe it seemed to be an impossible command. We may have been beaten physically or emotionally as a child. We may not have had any parents or wished we hadn’t. How or who do we honor?

He [Jesus] replied to them, “Who are My mother and My brothers?”  And looking about at those who were sitting in a circle around Him, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers!”              Mark 3:33-34 (HCSB)

Family, including mothers and fathers, often have nothing to do with biology. In my own life, there was a ‘season’ when I had six wonderful children in my home. We were a family. I don’t know how we did it but it was truly one of the best times of my life. It is a memory that will always keep me warm as I grow older. (smile) Those children do live their lives today with honor as they now raise their own children.

Jesus told us that His mother and brothers and sisters were the ones who were serving God. His Father was in heaven. Jesus showed us how to give honor to our parents. Maybe His words to us in Mark’s gospel are to reveal to us that our family in God’s eyes is about those whom we share a love and honor of the Father God. And neither geography in this world nor the separation between our time here and heaven can separate us from our family when we are “related” by that Father God love.

Let us consider today who our mother and father are. Let us consider how we can honor them. Let us do that the way Jesus honored His mother. And His Father.

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