MAGNA DEVOTION: Honoring My Parents

One of the biggest commandments ever written is found at Exodus 20:12, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Why did God gave this commitment?

1.    There are no perfect parents. Everybody falls short to the glory of God. Everyone will not be at par with God’s standards because God is the only perfect parent there is.
2.    Respect for authority begins at home. Families are the basic unit in every community. Figures of authority are formed at home. In every deed that we do, there is that somebody who will try to correct the inconsistencies that we do.  

Next question is: How am I to honor my parents?
1.    As a child, I honor my parents by OBEYING and RESPECTING them. As Ephesians 6:1 says, “Children, obey your parents; this is the right thing to do because God has placed them in authority over you.”

As parents, we have to carry out specific rules which our children must adhere to. When a child is between 2-12 years old, we have to act as their Master. As such, we have to teach them two things: (a) Disobedience brings pain; and (b) Obedience brings freedom. We have to let our children understand that in all our actions, whether good or bad, there are always the consequences that follow. How easy it is for us to trust our children and grant them the freedom that they deserve when they respectfully follow what is right and objective during their formative years. When our children reach the age of 13-20 years old, we can act as their Guide, their teacher in enlightening them with the “real” world and situations to inspire them to be better. When they enter adulthood (21 years old-onwards), we will be there as their Friend. After all, we have done our part as parents, this time, be there as somebody they can freely share their ideas, talk out their problems with, and celebrate their triumphs and hardships in their lives.

2.    As a young person, I honor my parents by ACCEPTING and APPRECIATING them.

Accepting means (a) Realizing that God used them to bring me into this world. We cannot choose our parents. God gave them to us with the purpose of bringing life to us and being the role model we hoped them to be. They may not turn out to be the parents we want to have, but they were utilized by Him to give us our life’s lessons for the better;  (b) Listening to what they have to say. Proverbs 23:22 clearly tells us, “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.” We may not notice it, but our parents are growing older day by day. In their children’s lifetime, parents may only spend 20-30 years of togetherness. As their children, let them know that you appreciate their presence by listening to every word thy will utter and live it by heart. Experience made them who they are and the similar experiences that they have made may help you be the person you want yourself to be; and (c) Acceptance includes forgiveness.  Proverbs 20:20 tells us that “Whoever curses his father or his mother, His lamp will be put out in deep darkness.” With all our parent’s efforts to rear up in the ways pleasing to God, the least we can do is say something unacceptable to them. Though it is hard to forgive, our parent’s ways are acted out to protect us or keep us from harm, much like how our God wants us to keep safe always.

3.    As an adult, I honor my parents by AFFIRMING and NOT ABANDONING them.

1st Timothy 5:4 tells us “They should put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.” In this fast-paced world that we live in, where this generation has limited patience and time to give out because of work and other personal activities, parents oftentimes find themselves anxiously waiting for the time their children will abandon them. Option to bring parents to the foster homes nowadays has become so common, sometimes it’s the first and only option children think when they can’t find the time to take care of their parents.  Our parents took care of us from the moment we were conceived until we are able to figuratively stand on our own, why not do the same to our parents until they breathe their last?

Our parents sacrificed a lot to bring out the best in us, to help us be the person that we are now. By simply listening to their stories, we learn a lot about life’s lessons. By understanding their points-of-view, we can look into a different perspective other than our own. By loving them unconditionally, we can set an example to our own children that love is absolute and it transcends throughout the generations to come.