The Foundation of Honor

Duane Vander Klok

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

Scripture tells us that we are to honor our father and our mother. Some translations say, “Respect your father and mother.” This isn’t just a lighthearted suggestion from God, hinting at what we are called to do. It is the fifth of the Ten Commandments.

It is interesting that the first four commandments all deal with our one-on-one relationship with God, but the fifth commandment – to honor your father and your mother – changes the focus to our relationships with other people. In fact, Exodus 20:12 lays a foundation that affects all of our other relationships.

When we learn to respect and honor our parents’ authority – whether they are godly or ungodly – we set a pattern of respecting the authority of our teachers, bosses, and other authorities in our lives. Even beyond that, honoring our earthly parents sets a pattern for how we honor God’s authority in our lives.

It is never too late to begin honoring our fathers and our mothers. As we just celebrated Mother’s Day and with Father’s Day just around the corner, let us be reminded that we are called to honor and respect them every day. We can do so regardless of their failures, shortcomings, and disagreements we may have had with them. While we may not always be able to honor their actions, we can always honor the fact that God placed them as our parents.

This week – and always – let’s follow God’s Word to honor our parents in some way. If that is difficult for you, ask God to show you how He would have you honor them.