“Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12
The relationship that you have with your parents has one of the biggest impacts on the quality of your life, even your physical health. Here, God gives us the very first commandment that is directly connected to a promise. God promises a long life and healthy life to everyone who shows honor to their parents.
What does it mean to honor? Sadly, we live in a time where people fail to understand the meaning of, or how to show, true honor. This generation thinks that everybody should be treated equally- no one greater than another. However, this is directly contrary to the Word of God. For example, we should treat our parents with more respect and care than we do our friends.
The very nature of showing honor to someone means that you place a higher value on the relationship that you share with them than on the relationship that you have with others. It means that you show them more respect than you do other people. You cannot honor someone unless you understand how their relationship to you is different from the relationship that you have with others.
Showing honor is more than showing respect. Honor is respect doubled! The word honor means to differ to another person by putting their needs above your own. True honor is not just what you do, but also how you do it. It even involves your tone of voice and body language!
Now I want you to notice something here. The promise of long life is not given to those who simply OBEY their parents. Obedience is not even mentioned in the fifth commandment. It is possible to obey your parents without honoring them, but it is not possible to honor them without also obeying them.
You may say, “But my parents have already passed away; how can I show honor to them now?” For one thing, you can honor their memory by only speaking well of them to others. It would certainly be dishonorable to bring up all their faults and mistakes after they are gone!
I am convinced that one of the causes of sickness and disease is a lack of honor for our parents. If you want to live a long and healthy life, make sure that you are showing the proper honor to your father and mother.
Confession: Thank you Lord for my parents. You gave them to me and for that very reason I choose to honor them.