“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” – Exodus 20:12
Q: What is the fifth commandment?
A: You shall honor your father and your mother, so that you will be well and live long on the earth.
What does this mean?
Because we worship and love God, we shouldn’t ignore or anger our parents, but we should honor, obey, love, and think highly of them.
Your parents are not perfect. They know that and you know that. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to honor them or listen to them, it just means that your parents should repent of their sins publicly just like everyone else.
One of the ways that families are ripped apart is when there is no repentance for sin. Repentance is one the foremost ways that we display that we are truly Christians. In repentance, we show that we are sorry for our sin, we desire to change our mind in reference to that sin, we trust Jesus’ provision for our sin through his life, death, and resurrection, and by the power of his Spirit we believe that we are no longer slaves to that sin.
Parents need to do this when they sin against their children. As children, one of the ways that you can honor your parents is when you forgive them for their sin against you. Maybe they raised their voice when they shouldn’t have, maybe they ignored you when you needed something, or maybe they disciplined you in unrighteous anger.
If your parents are Christians, they will repent and God loves it when you honor them through forgiveness. It will create a loving bond between you and your parents that is hard to break.
Consider Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
- Parents, how do you need to repent to your children? Are their ways you have been exasperating your children? Maybe you should ask them now.
- Children, why would forgiveness be a way to honor your parents?
Our Father, because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, thank you that you promise to forgive us when we repent of our sins. Thank you that Jesus covers us and that you unite us to him. Everything that is true of him is true of us now! May we rejoice in this truth. May we extend this forgiveness when we sin against each other in our family. By the power of your Spirit, help us know when we need to repent and be willing to speak it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.