“Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long” (Deuteronomy 5:16).
This commandment is easy for most of us to keep. It seems the older our parents get, the more we love them. Yet as we grow older ourselves, it becomes apparent that what we want to do does not always agree with the plans our parents have for us. Can we disagree and still honor them? Does honoring your father and mother mean always doing what they want you to do?
Here is what this commandment means to me. First, we should honor our parents by listening carefully to what they have to say. We should speak to them and of them respectfully even if we cannot agree to do what they want us to do.
It will probably not be possible to live near our parents all our lives, but we need to honor them by making the most effort to communicate. We must exert ourselves to keep in touch with them.
When our parents are in need we must do what we can to see those needs are met. If we cannot serve them ourselves, we need to plan and provide for them.
Whether our parents have been good to us or not does not change our obligation to them. We will always be somewhat responsible for them.
Pray about it. God wants the best for you and for them. He has a plan. Ask Him to show you what it is.
Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.
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Copyright (c) 2003 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.