Honoring Your Parents
Ex 20:12 Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Honoring parents is the only command in Scripture that promises long life as a reward. Those who honor their parents are blessed (Jer 35:18-19). In contrast, those with a “depraved mind” and those who exhibit ungodliness in the last days are characterized by disobedience to parents, among other negative characteristics. (Rom 1:30, 2Tim 3:2).
In Matt 15:3-9, Jesus reminded the Pharisees of the command of God to honor their father and mother. They were obeying the letter of the law, but they had added their own traditions that essentially overruled it. While they honored their parents in word, their actions proved their real motive. Honor is more than lip service. We should seek to honor our parents in much the same way that we strive to bring glory to God—in our thoughts, words, and actions. For a young child, obeying parents goes hand in hand with honoring them. That includes listening, heeding, and submitting to their authority. After children mature, the obedience that they learned as children will serve them well in honoring other authorities such as government, police, and employers.
Ezek 20:14-19 (ESV) But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations...I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land that I had given them...because they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes...And I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules
While we are required to honor parents, that doesn’t include imitating ungodly ones. If a parent ever instructs a child to do something that clearly contradicts God’s commands, that child must obey God rather than his/her parents.
Honoring is not easy, is not always fun, and certainly is not possible in our own strength. But honor is a certain path to our purpose in life—glorifying God.
Col 3:20-21 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.