Theme of the Week: Family: We All Have One
Bible Verse: “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 ESV
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 15:20, Proverbs 20:20
Every one of us has a dad and a mom. So God is speaking to all of us here. How can we grow in wisdom toward our parents? The key words in Proverbs 15:20 and 20:20 are “despises” and “curses.” Those words are the opposite of wisdom. What is the way of wisdom? The fifth commandment: “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12). And that command not to despise, not to curse, but to honor our parents—that command applies to us all our life long, even after we grow up and leave home.
What is God saying? To “despise” our parents is to treat them as worthless. To “curse” our parents does not mean to swear at them but, like “despise,” to treat them as beneath us. And to “honor” our parents is to treat them as weighty and worthy, just because they are our parents.
They do not have to earn our respect; we owe it to them. The burden is not on them but on us — according to the Word of God. That helps teenagers who sometimes think their parents are dumb. God says, even if you do think your parents are dumb, you still owe them respect.
How can all of us fulfill our obligation to honor our parents? We do not have to agree with them. We do not even have to stay close to them. Sometimes a little distance helps. But we can honor them in two ways. First, we can thank them. We can stop blaming them for their failures and thank them for their successes. Even if your parents were not Christians, if they taught you right from wrong with the understanding they had, they did their job. Thank them. Let them know they made an impact that you appreciate now. Second, if your parents were Christians, imitate them.
We can honor our Christian parents by reproducing in our wishy-washy times an all-out Christian faith. And our parents will rejoice over us, even as the styles change.
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