“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12 NLT
What type of family situation did you grow up in? Were you in a single parent home? Did you have many siblings or were you an only child? Was there sufficient income to meet your basic needs for food and shelter? Did your parents travel or work so much that you felt emotionally or physically disconnected? Was it harsh and abusive or warm and loving? Regardless of the circumstances, God was using it to teach us the value of honoring our parents and ultimately, authority. God promises a blessing to those who learn to honor.
The Hebrew word honor is “Kabed” which some would recognize as a root of the word glory. It’s core meaning is heavy or weighty such as determining the value of gold by it’s weight. In a negative sense it means burdensome, in this passage it carries the positive meaning of the glory of special honor.
We first learn honor to our parents through obedience. There were no exceptions given that the parents must be perfect first in order for obedience to be given. Except for violation of God’s laws such as stealing or lying, parents rules should learn to be obeyed, even when you don’t like them or feel that they are unfair. Most people reading this are already grown, so you may wonder how this applies now. Clean up your past and move forward with honor. Take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit if there is any area in which you need to confess disobedience in attitude or actions that you exhibited toward your parents. Ask for forgiveness and receive His cleansing by grace.
Second we honor our parents with our words. When we value someone, we speak highly of them. We will not allow others to talk about them in a disrepectful way, without making a counter comment as to their value and worth. Did you ever speak curses of hate or judgment toward your parents or say those things to others? Ask God to forgive you so that you may fall in line with the command to honor your father and mother.
Third, we can honor our parents through actions of service. Obedience is an action, but I am talking about actions of doing good for them. What are their favorite meals, hobbies, activities that they enjoy doing? Do you know you parent’s love language? How would spending quality time with them be an expression of honor? This will include taking care of them in their old age. Some of your parents have already passed away, so find another significant elderly person or couple to express honor through actions.
Finally, we honor our parents with attitudes of love. When you love someone you no longer have the “have to’s”, rather your first desire is the “get to’s”. You “get to” show your respect and love as an overflow of the value that they have within your heart. For the newly married couple, doing simple kind things is a joy that flows from love. Without love, the same activity becomes a burden. Check your love meter toward those in authority. Love starts from within your own heart and not from whether they deserve it from their actions. Love is a wonderful expression of honor.
Here is the deal. Honoring our parents comes with a blessing. Those who learn to honor will have a full, meaningful and long life. There is a joy of living that is a direct result of honoring. If you messed up when you were younger, ask God to truly forgive you with a humble and broken heart for your dishonoring. Receive His forgiveness. Then start honoring those in authority in your life. Honor your spouse, your employer, your teachers, and your government officials.
Honoring those in authority over your life is a way of honoring God. You are expressing a confidence that God knows exactly what He is doing for His glory by the people His has put into your life. Honor includes obedience, kind words, positive actions and a loving attitude. Which one of these is your weakest and strongest expression? Give honor to whom honor is due.
May God bless you with a long, full life filled with honor.
Blessings, Love y’all