Honouring our mother and father
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honour your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
We are commanded to honour our mother and our father, it isn't an option or something we can to do occasionally or when we want something. Nor is it something we do when we are young and don't need to bother about it later in life. Honouring our parents starts at birth and we ALL need to do it throughout our lives.
However not all children have been raised by Godly, loving parents —sadly there are many people who have been raised by parents that have been abusive, making it very difficult to honour one's mother and father. Regardless of how you were raised, we still need to honour our parents and that can be very difficult for those who have been badly damaged in their childhood. Here are some things to help those who have not had loving parents (Source):
1) Pray for your parents.
2) Keep on trying to help them, even though that may be difficult at times.
3) Model Jesus for them.
4) Exercise restraint in front of them.
5) Weep for them before the Lord, pouring your heart out to Him on their behalf.
And most importantly:
And most importantly:
6) Forgive them. The Lord can help you do this! The journey may be painful, but with God, all things are possible.
The thing about honouring our parents is it isn’t hard to do if our heart is in the right place. Its the small things that they love the most — the surprise phone call when they least expect it, a card in the mail, photos of the grandchildren, remembering their birthday, mothers day, telling them how much they have inspired you, showing love through a hug, having patiences, understanding their way of thinking and an interest in their lives. We honour our parents both through our actions and our words and we should never be too busy to do this.
We may not always agree with our parents point of view (or perhaps the way they brought you up) and that is ok — my parents when through the war, they grew up in a completely different era to me, but that doesn’t stop me honouring them. If you don’t agree with your parents, respectfully disagree but have the manners to listen to their views. They can still teach us a thing or two.
There are many ways we can honour our parents and here is a list of some ways we can do this, particularly those with ageing parents:
- Value your parents’ world. No matter how old they are, they are living in a world that is highly relevant and valuable to them.
- Respect your parents’ age. Don’t mock their limitations and inabilities. Love them in it. You will be old one day!
- Patiently listen their words may have slowed and their minds may not be as fast as it once was, but they still have plenty to say and we still have plenty to learn.
- Keep up regular contact with your parents, especially if you only have one parent and they live alone — hearing your voice in the evening really does make their day. A minor inconvenience for us may mean a great deal to our parents.
- Model your parents’ godly attributes. You know the many things they said and did that simply blessed your life, so go and do likewise! It honors them and the Lord. Besides, if it blessed you, just think how much it will bless their grandchildren.
- Protect your parents’ individual dignity. The older they become, the more they will cherish your hedge of protection. Remember, they protected you when you were just starting out!
- Fulfill your parents’ essential joy. Make it your business to find out what brings them joy. Sometimes it is as simple as a regular phone call—and please answer their calls. Photos of the grandchildren or even a visit from the grandchildren makes all the differences.
- Keep your parents in the loop—they may be ageing but they still like to know what you are doing, what the grandchildren are doing—they are still interested in you, don't forget to included them in family activities.
- Provide for your parents’ basic needs. Make certain you are not feasting at the king’s table while your precious parents are living on cans of baked beans! And, by the way, make sure they are eating right.
- Fondly reminisce, talk about the past, the fond memories of your childhood, the fun things you did together. Listen to their stories as they will one day be memories once they are gone.
- Your parents were not perfect, nor are you (only Jesus is)—do not hold grudges about the way you were brought up, don't keep reminding them that they were too strict, too this or that. Water has passed under the bridge, move on, show them with love be generous with your love.
- Help in any way you can—if you are like me and live along way from your parents, there are still many things you can do—a letter in the post, a phone call, a visit, even a text message. If you live near by—do all you can to make their lives easy and comfortable. It might be an inconveniences at times, but this is your duty as a son or daughter.