Today is Father’s Day and a good time to reflect on what it means to “honor your father”. Some of you have had fantastic fathers, some have had horrible fathers, and many of you have had fathers that lie somewhere in between. They have their strengths, their weaknesses, their good points and their flaws. Being honoring to others is part of Godly character development. So regardless of what kind of father or mother you have, God has commanded you to honor your parents.
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God has given you. (Exodus 20:12; NIV)
I found a wonderful article in Billy Graham’s Decision magazine written by Don Wilton titled “Honor Your Mother and Your Father”. The rest of this power tool is an excerpt from that article.
* * *
For those of you who have not the joy of being reared by godly parents, here are six things to consider.
- Pray for your parents.
- Keep on trying to help them, even though that may be difficult at times.
- Model Jesus for them.
- Exercise restraint in front of them.
- Weep for them before the Lord, pouring your heart out to Him on their behalf.
- Forgive them. The Lord can help you do this!
God’s command to honor our parents is consistent with His divine order. He knows what is best for us. He loves us. He made us. That is why He issues this command and connects this promise into His basic plan for mankind. Just as we will live forever because we honor the Lord our God, so it is that we are given the promise of a well-lived, fruitful and happy life when we honor our parents.
Just as all believers give honor to almighty God and receive bountiful joy in return, so it is that children who give honor to their parents receive “boatloads” of joy in return. It is the law of God!
So, permit me to give you what I call the “Seven Keys to Honoring 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.
- 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 gives them joy. Sometimes it is as simple as a regular phone call—and please answer their calls. It makes their day.
- 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.
- Just do it: Honor your God-given responsibility. Just do it. God said it. You will be so glad you did.
* * *
Take some time today to reflect on this wise advice. If your parents are still alive, give them a call and tell them how much they mean to you. If they have passed, honor their memory in your heart and mind! I encourage you to read the full article that these tips were taken from at http://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/june-2013/honor-your-mother-and-your-father/.