Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother 1
This week we will be looking at the very vital truth of honouring your father and mother.
A commandment with promise
Ephesians 6:1-3 (NIV) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”– which is the first commandment with a promise– “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Here God commands us to honour our parents because there is a promise of well being and long life to be obtained if we keep this commandment.
The parents here refer both to physical as well as spiritual parents. We are to honour them “in the Lord”. What does this mean? It means we are to honor them in accordance with the principles of the Word and the character of God.
One thing that is not very prevalent in our generation is the honor, reverence and care that should be given to parents and all those in a position of God instituted authority. There are 3 major divine institutions on the earth:
The Home (Gen. 2: 18)
The church (Matt. 16:18)
Civil government (Rom.13:1-2)
To dishonour those in authority in any of these institutions is to dishonour God himself.
Luke 10:16 (KJV) He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
In fact, that is why honouring your father and mother comes with a blessing and not doing so automatically sets a curse into operation. This is irrespective of whether the parents curse you or not. In fact parents who love you will never curse you even when you dishonour them. However God himself is the one that sets these things into motion since these institutions were not made by man but by God himself.
Dishonor to parents always reminds God of Satan’s rebellion.
So God always resists those who dishonour their parents, so that His purposes on the earth can be fulfilled.
This why the present wave of rebellion against parents and those in authority is about to be severely judged by God, both in the church and in the world.
Romans 1:30-32 (KJV) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Honouring your parents with your attitude to them
We are to honour our parents and the elderly with our attitude and show of respect to them.
Leviticus 19:32 (KJV) Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.
IKings 2:19 (KJV) Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right hand.
Here we see Solomon prostrating as a sign of respect to his mother even though he was King.
In cases where our parents are demanding us to do things contrary to the Word of God or the revealed will of God, we are to obey God rather than man, but it must still be with an attitude of meekness and reverence.
Acts 5:29 (KJV) Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
1 Peter 3:14-15 (KJV) But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
An excellent example of one who still honoured his spiritual father with his attitude even when he did not deserve it was David.
David, Saul and Absalom
David still honoured Saul as his spiritual father even when Saul was back slidden, demonized and certainly did not deserve it.
1 Samuel 24:8-11 (KJV) David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself. And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men’s words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt? Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD’s anointed. Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it.
Because David honoured Saul as a spiritual father and spoke to him with meekness and reverence, God supernaturally put in Saul’s mouth to bless David and release him into his ministry to become King.
1 Samuel 24:16-20 (KJV) And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil. And thou hast shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the LORD had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not. For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore the LORD reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day. And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand.
This is an outstanding show of God’s favour and power on David’s behalf since Saul’s intention was to kill David so that he would never become King.
This shows us that when you honour your father and mother and those in authority God will move supernaturally on your behalf to bless you, even if those in authority are wicked and do not wish you well. Your “soft answer will turn away their wrath” (Prov. 15:1), and God sovereignly will make your “enemies to be at peace with you” (Prov.16:7).
It is instructive to observe that had David killed Saul, Absalom would have killed David later on, because “whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7).
2 Samuel 15:6 (KJV) And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
2 Samuel 15:12-13 (KJV) And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom. And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.
2 Samuel 18:9 (KJV) And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.
Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.
2 Samuel 18:14-15 (KJV) Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. And ten young men that bare Joab’s armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.
So Absalom dies a horrible death for rebelling against his father because he wanted, like the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), his inheritance as the King’s son before the God’s time.
Proverbs 20:21 (KJV) An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.
Do not let inordinate ambition and impatience for an inheritance push you into rebellion against authority.
It is vital to understand that if we dishonour our parents or those in a position of divine authority God himself will be the one to punish us. Rather we should honour our parents and those in positions of divine authority with an attitude of reverence so that it may be well with us and we may live long upon the earth.
In our next article we will examine honouring our parents with our material substance.