The dishonoring of parents seems to have become an epidemic in this generation. The Bible tells us to “…Honor thy father and mother…” in Ephesians 6:2. The word honor means to ascribe worth to a person. It is a command that is to be consistently carried out and it has no expiration date. Honoring your parents as an adult entails giving them opportunity to guide you, to warn you and to advise you. We honor them when we give their counsel in our lives more weight and thought than the counsel of others. There are many more aspects of honoring but the bottom line is God never condones the dishonoring of parents. Even our Lord Jesus was subject to earthly, flawed parents. (Luke 2:51) He even honored his mother from the cross. I just want to say, it is my desire to obey God fully in this area, to teach my children to do so, and to call on others in my generation to do the same.
God has blessed me with loving parents who know what they believe and make no apology for it. I respect that in them! They are not perfect, but neither am I. I just thank the Lord for allowing me the privilege to be their son. Here are just some of the reason why I am thankful for them.
- I am thankful for their commitment to Christ. People can be committed to alot of ventures but my parents have been committed to the cause of Christ from my earliest memories. Nothing was more important to my Father and Mother than the ministry God had called them to. We all worked in it together and made it a family effort.
- I am thankful for their love for God’s Word. I remember walking in on my parent’s devotional time often. I could count on it that my father would be on the couch at about 6:30 AM reading his Bible and sipping Alfalfa (that particular practice I have replaced with a good cup of black coffee). I knew that walking with God and knowing Him in the Word was important to my dad.
- I am thankful for their standards. They taught me that standards were the fences we put up to keep from breaking the clear principles of God’s Word. They set their standards because of a desire to please the Lord. Due to their example, I have chosen to set standards for my own family.
- I am thankful for their provision of our needs. My parents were never rich, yet our needs were always taken care of. Whether it was a new pair of Nike’s or a bike it seemed my parents would figure a way to make it happen.
- I am thankful for the memories. Granted, we spent alot of time working together, but we had some traditions that made for great memories. We always took several weeks each summer to go to Milwaukee to visit my grandmother. During this time we would often do mountain biking, wading in Lake Michigan and sleeping in tents in the backyard. Sometimes we would go further north to my grandma’s cottage which was always an amazing adventure. There are many more memories, but I think these make my point.
- I am thankful for their character training. I did not like the work ethic while they were trying to instill it, but I am so gald for it now. They taught me to work hard and focus on the task at hand. Some children resent their parents for making them work, but I appreciate the training immensely!
- I am thankful for their faith through trials. Watching parent go through trials is not easy. Learning from their faith is amazing. I can think of several times when my parents we under pressure and rather than buckling they turned to God in faith and were strengthened.
- I am thankful for their faithfulness. I appreciate the fact that they have been faithful for over thirty years to the ministry God called them to. I am know it was not always easy and I am sure there were times they were tempted to quit. Yet they looked to God in faith to enable them to be faithful. They are an incredible example to me of faithful ministers of the Lord.
- I am thankful for an ongoing, healthy relationship. I appreciate being able to call home and talk to my parents with no tension. We may not do everything exactly the same (by the way, no two people do), but I respect them for the stands they have always taken. Because they taught me to keep a clean conscience, I don’t feel like I have to justify and argue constantly for my viewpoint on any particular issue.
- I am thankful for their guidence. I am thankful that my parents still feel the ability to call me up and advise or warn me. I appreciate the times I have recieved wise counsel from them. When something especially burdensome is on my heart, their is nothing like being able to talk it out with them, maybe even cry together. I welcome their guidence even as an adult.
If you have not stopped to think through the reasons you are thankful for your parents, today would be a good day. If you have a strained relationship with them, decide to work out the tension areas. Don’t let another day go by without choosing to honor them just as the Bible says. You will be glad you did!