Honoring Our Parents

Honoring Our Parents

Saturday, April 6, 2024

A Timeless Command for Today's Families

As we prepare to explore the biblical command to "honor your father and mother" this Sunday, it's important to understand why this instruction remains so vital, even in our modern era. For too long, our society has seen the fracturing of the family unit. U.S. Census data shows over the past 50 years, the percentage of children living in single-parent homes has nearly tripled from 12% in 1970 to over 30% today. This trend has been linked to numerous challenges - higher risks of poverty, educational difficulties, behavioral issues and more for children raised without two parents.

God's design was for children to be raised by a father and a mother together (Genesis 2:24). When families lack this foundation, it creates instability and hardship that can last generations. This is one key reason why the Bible places such importance on honoring our parents - it promotes family cohesion, generational continuity, and societal order.

In Exodus 20:12, God attaches a promise to this command: "Honor your father and mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you." Honoring parents leads to blessings of stability, provision and a long life rooted in obedience to God's precepts. Sadly, for many, the idea of honoring parents is complicated by family brokenness and the failures of imperfect human parents. If you grew up in a single-parent home or experienced abuse, neglect or other dysfunction, the concept of "honor" can feel fraught.

But even for those whose parents fell drastically short, there is wisdom in extending honor - not for what was modeled, but for the principle of the parent-child relationship itself. You honor the position, if not the person. Why? Because upholding healthy family roles and dynamics helps break the cycle of brokenness in our society. This isn't excusing harmful behavior; protecting children from abuse must be a top priority. But where possible, strive to honor your parents' God-given role by forgiving shortcomings, maintaining relationship, and even modeling a better path for future generations. Family breakdowns and wounds run deep, but our ultimate healing comes from the perfect Heavenly Parent who said "honor your father and mother." As we yield to His wisdom, we find the pathway to extending His promised blessings to all generations.  

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