Honoring Parents


“Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Deut. 5:16). Having done In the Garden before, I knew this commandment was coming. I thought, maybe I can just skim over this one real quick. I don’t necessarily see how I can apply this one. I had been dealing with this same issue the last time I did this study. Although, this time was different. I am actually desiring to be transformed in my thinking and to go deeper in my walk with Christ. But, if I am being real with you, I didn’t want to be transformed in this area just yet. Any area, BUT THIS COMMANDMENT.

In the middle of my alone time, I stopped when I realized this was the commandment we were going to be reading over that day. I whispered to myself, “Jesus, I need you to give me the strength right now.” I began to just talk to my heavenly Father. I went on to speak aloud as I was writing the following:

“Father, how do you expect me to just turn the other cheek to the person that is constantly talking bad about me? You tell me to honor my mom and yet it has taken nearly a year to even be alone in the same room as her. On top of that, you call me to honor a man who wasn’t there for me when I was born, and I had to reach out to him for a relationship. He loves alcohol more than his own children, what is that about?! Why can’t you change them first? Why me? I want to honor you, God. But can’t I honor you in another way? Why do I have to do this? Help the next words come out of my mouth because I don’t want to say them… Nevertheless, Father, even though my heart is not wanting this, move in me. You have to move in me because I am so weak. Your will, not mine. Your way, not my own. Let me see what you see, Lord. Help me to love like you despite my feelings. You see what is going on in these relationships, Father. I know you are just, I know you are in control. I also know that you know every hair on my head. This means you know exactly the place I am at right now. You know my thoughts before I even think them. You are going to have to move in me, because I can’t do this. I just can’t without your grace.”

I wasn’t ready to let these issues go. Then I read something in the study that hit me in the gut. I hadn’t gotten to it just yet because I hadn’t even made it past seeing the “Fifth Commandment.” The next part of the study says, “Our attitude towards our parents can sometimes be a revealing gauge of our attitude towards God.” WHOA. My heart sunk. It gets better. The study goes on: “But because God has commanded us to honor our parents regardless of their worthiness, how we treat our parents in this regard does become a gauge of how we are responding to the Lord…”

With the help of the Holy Spirit I started to realize that I have not ever been capable of honoring them in my own strength. It is so crazy to confess what I have been holding on to for so long. I also realized something else. I am so thankful that my heavenly Father hasn’t grown weary with me like I have with my earthly parents.

He never said it would be easy to do, but good thing we don’t do this on our own. In my own “wisdom” (foolishness) I never would be able to accomplish anything pertaining to living like Christ. I could never comprehend the love He has if it were not for Him loving me first. The Bible says, “We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:19-21).

I can choose to try to love my mother and father in my own strength (which is impossible). Or I can choose to look to my Savior! I can choose to speak the truth to myself. I can choose to lean into Him the more I feel weak. I need to really take inventory and ask if I really love God more than feeling justified in my flesh. The Bible is very clear what is in my heart if it is not love. If I choose to go off of my feelings then I am choosing to hate and be disobedient. I want to obey the Word of God and be set free. During the study I wasn’t even sure how I could find a way to honor them. But I can honor them by being a light to them. I am no longer representing myself; I am representing Christ. This is the most important thing they need to see from me, hear from me, or feel from me.

As we seek to be planted deeper in His healing, everlasting, and unchanging truth, may we ask God to search every crack and corner of our hearts. And when He does, may our hunger and thirst to love Him more completely cover the desire to be anything other than what He sees fit to make us.

All for His Glory

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