Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Ephesians 6:1-4
Today I wanted to write something different and really a reminder to myself out loud, er I mean publicly. A reminder to honor my parents even as an adult.
As I write this I want us as a people of God to ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to the offenses we have committed against our parents for whatever reasons and to open our hearts to forgiveness. It doesn’t matter if your parents aren’t Christ followers and it matters more if they are, our God-given command is to honor them. If your parents aren’t Christian, and you are well all the better reason to show Jesus to them through the way you give them honor when they might know they don’t deserve it. If your parents are your brothers and sisters in Chris than friend let me tell you that you should know better than to not give them the honor a God has commanded you to give them.
As a child the way we honored them was by obeying the law at home, if your parents were anything like mine growing up as a Christian child it ment honoring God and by honoring God I was honoring them. But what about as an adult? Are we called to obey our parents? Are we to do everything they tell us to do still? Are we to drop what we believe God has called us to because our parents said no?
That’s not what it means to honor our parents as an adult. It’s giving them the RESPECT they deserve for the mere fact that it was the order God gave, they are older than us and wiser… well not all but, most have great life experiences.
Here are the 5 ways I’ve learned and still are learning to honor my parents since becoming an adult:
- Consider their advise
Many times I remember brushing off my mothers advise for the simple fact that I was an adult now, I know what’s best. Sometimes our parents even as we get older see things we don’t and it is foolish of us to completely ignore their advise without thinking about it twice and bringing it to God. When we tell our parent we don’t need their advise we are saying, “I’m smarter and I know all the answers”. Maybe the advise is something you are against and in this case you state that you don’t completely agree (without a fight) but that you appreciate the advise. Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
2. Don’t talk back
This one I can say I struggle with still.. maybe your parents offended you and you simply have to say something! How can you not defend your character. Right? Wrong. I can’t tell you how many times I have back talked my parents and felt The Holy Spirit rebuke me. Honestly as Christian adults we should know better than to start problems with our parents with foolishness and lack of self-control with our words. I know it seems unfair but let God fight those little battles for you, allow the Holy Spirit to rebuke you and trust me your parents eventually will either give up fighting with someone who won’t fight back and smile or they will ask you, “what’s wrong with you”. Haha true story. Then you my friend have an open door to show Jesus. Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
3. Don’t speak bad about them
I know I know, maybe you’re saying, ” you don’t understand my parents _____________.” I get it, but let me ask you this… what if your parents were to come to Salvation one day and they are not the people you had blabbed to everyone? What if your parent were to find out the way you spoke of them? What if your CHILD heard you talk about your parents that way? The best thing we can do is pray for them. It’s not our job to let the world know our parents short comings. Our parents actions speak for them self. Psalm 34:13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
4. Forgive them
I heard once about a young woman who was raped by her father as a child for many years, this scared her for a long time and it led to her many addictions and her destruction. One day this woman was walking near a church when she decided to walk in to hear about this Jesus stuff, to her surprise the sermon was about forgiving those who have wronged us. That day she gave her life to God and in her heart she forgave her father and was set free from the secret hidden sin her father committed against her. She never touched the substances that made her lose control. The amazing thing is that her father had become a Christian man earlier that year (yes Gods love covers even a rapist) and when she went to see him after years and years her father with tears in his eyes that were uncontrollable, he wept like a child, he yelled like a man being beat asked her to forgive him. This woman forgave him. This story always reminds me that we are able to forgive if we choose to. Now if this woman could forgive this, can’t we forgive our parents imperfections? Matthew 6:15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
5. We’re our children’s example
Now let’s go back to all these points and ask yourself (if you are a parent you’ll feel this harder) would you want your adult children to honor you? Would you want them to consider your advise? Even if you might not always be right? Would you want them to respect you enough to not start foolish arguments even if later on you realized you started it? Would you like your children to dishonor your name by gossiping about you? Would you give anything to let your child know that you tried your best and you wish they could forgive your short comings? I don’t know about you but everything I asked I would like for my children as they grew up to extend grace. Everytime you argue… who’s watching? Your children? Don’t become upset when your children do exactly as you did with your parents. We are the example, I set high standards with how I respect people and my parents (though I fail miserably at not talking back, I’m such a fool at times) I want my children to see my example and hopefully they will do the same. Our children watch everything we do. Let’s give them something Jesus would like us to share with them. Honoring our parents even as adults. Young adults. 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
I hope this is of blessing as they are my personal reminders from The Holy Spirit that have brought beautiful blessing to not only my life but my parents.