1. Does the bible reference a parent's responsibility or behavior as it relates to receiving honor? 2. As a parent can I demand honor or respect? 3. Is honoring a parent, for a child, conditional on the parents actions?
Exodus 20:1 - 26
NKJV - 1 And God spoke all these words, saying: 2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
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In my opinion, the commandment to honor father and mother is directed at children of all ages (including adult children) with respect to their parents. The Bible provides other specific guidance concerning the behavior of parents toward their children, such as is found in Ephesians 6:4 ("Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."), and Proverbs 22:6 ("Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.") Parents are responsible to God for the extent to which they meet their obligations as parents, and children are responsible for compliance with the commandment to honor their father and mother. And God (who has all knowledge) is able to judge us with complete accuracy and fairness on our performance. With regard to receiving honor and respect, the most that parents can do (again, in my opinion) is to assure that they are acting in a manner worthy of that respect. If they are not, or if the children are rebellious and defiant of their own accord regardless of the parent's behavior, then a demand for respect by the parent will likely have little effect (but, again, each party is responsible to God for actions that they can control, or for the individual contributions of each party to the situation). Parents should also keep in mind their own imperfections and shortcomings, as well as (for Christian parents) the manner in which God has forgiven them for Jesus' sake, and should exhibit their own maturity (as human beings, if not also as Christians) by displaying a willingness to be reconciled with their children in the event of disagreements and disappointments. In cases of estrangement between parents and children, I think that both parents and children would be wise (at least for their own well-being, if not also for the health of the relationship) to choose an attitude of understanding, acceptance, personal responsibility (where appropriate), and (with God's help) even forgiveness, rather than harboring or building up resentment within themselves; and also to always be open to the possibility of reconciliation. An example from the Bible that comes to mind in that regard is the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), in which the father was continually looking for his wayward son to return (despite the manner in which the son had disappointed him and squandered his resources). And when the father finally saw his son (although he was still a long way off), the father took the initiative to run to him out of compassion and welcome him back, even before the son could give his planned apology to his father.
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