June 21, 2010

Elephants in Our Midst series: Part 6 Respecting Parents

I heard Pastor James Macdonald say the following on the radio once:

God commands all of His people everywhere to “honor your father and mother.” From small children to middle-aged adults to older adults, we never outgrow the need to apply this biblical principle. It is for every race and every culture, regardless of your parents’ success rating, whether they are living or not, and regardless of how you may feel about it. God says straight up, “Honor your mom and dad.”

Honoring your parents is an attitude of respect. It’s the admission that says, “You are the person God sovereignly placed in my life.” They may have failed you or hurt or disappointed you at times, but God commands all children to honor their parents for what they did right.”
Pastor James Macdonald
“How to Honor Your Parents”
(2007, Walk in the Word)

The word honor is a word that means “weight.” To give honor to something is to give it “weightiness.” In other words, to give it value. To honor is to value. Do our lives give value to our parents for who God has made them to be? This is where we need to start.

Honoring parents in today’s culture is not as popular as proving one’s own autonomy and earning the right to be respected as an adult. Today’s culture encourages us to stand up for ourselves and demand respect. Everything from advertising to babies’ clothes and toys express the opinion that we all need to be seen as or treated as little adults. That desire for a common ground among children and adults has invaded the home and, in many circumstances, the church. This, in turn, is eroding the fabric of honor and respect for parents. Self-image has taken a priority over the family image and the intentions of God’s heart.

I believe if we trusted God’s heart when reading this commandment, we would walk in holy, humble fear—and it would become a lot more important.

When we are young, we can’t wait for adults to see us as equals and view us as mature. We forget that God is not only our Creator, but, if we are saved in Christ, He is our Father too. If we can’t honor our earthly parents, how is it possible to honor Him? Dishonor of human parents is disobedience to a direct command of God given to all people for all time. We cannot live in blatant disobedience to God and call it honor. We cannot represent his image to those who know us best if we do not learn to love through honoring those we were given to.

Do you have the elephant of parental disrespect in your life? Have you compromised and turned God's command into a negotiable clause? Are you diligent in persevering for righteousness sake? Are you serving God or yourself?

Read Ephesians 6:1-4
I would like to hear some feedback on this if you are willing. What do you think are some of the most difficult challenges of being a teenager that most parents don't get today? I would like to see if your thoughts are common.
If you were to say something to your friends parent to help them understand what your friend in this situation is feeling, what would you say?
As always, be an Image Bearer for everyone to see. God bless.

With you for His glory