5 Ways To Honour Your Father and Mother

By Fin Sheridan

How many of the 10 Commandments can you name? They’re probably the most famous list in history and yet knowing them all can be hard enough – let alone obeying them! If you asked the average person on the street to name as many as they could, they’re probably not going to manage more than 2 or 3.

The most popular (especially when if you’re a parent!) would be the 5th Commandment: “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” It’s the first commandment with a promise: do “this” for then “this” will happen.

Family can be complex: you don’t need me to tell you that. We might not agree with our parents. We might be speaking to one but sworn to never again contact the other. We may have an incredible relationship with them. It might be all those things in the space of a week.

“Right up until his final moments on the cross, we find Jesus loving his mother, Mary.”

The reality is though, for us as Christians, Jesus doesn’t let us off the hook with this commandment. Right up until his final moments on the cross, we find him loving his mother, Mary. So what does this often-quoted-rarely-explained commandment mean for us today? Here’s 5 suggestions for the 5th Commandment:

  • Call them. Or text, Facebook (Mums especially love it if you like their stuff on Facebook) or just generally be in touch with them. When I’m procrastinating, I ring my Mum – we’ll have a chat and then I’ll somehow feel more focused. Plus I get the brownie points of calling without asking for money. Let’s hope she doesn’t read this and find out…
  • Pray for them. Obvious but essential.
  • Serve them. Is there something that you can do for them? Just helping Mum for 10 minutes or giving Dad a hand with that job around the house can really make a difference for them. They served you for many years… time to return the favour
  • Speak their language. If they love cards, make sure you don’t miss the birthday. If they appreciate quality time, then try to find some. If they just appreciate you making an effort with their parents or friends, try to do that. It won’t always be easy or convenient but it makes a difference.
  • Follow Jesus wholeheartedly. If your parents are Christians, then the number one thing they want is for you to flourish in your walk with the Lord. Even if that means doing something differently to the way that they would prefer, deep down they are proud that their son or daughter has a faith and a relationship with God. Don’t believe me? Choose the right moment (essential) and ask them.

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