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How should a Christian honor his/her parents?


Exodus 20:12

NLT - 12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Clarify Share Report Asked January 20 2019 Image Scott Crosby

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that the honor that a Christian should give to parents is a positional, volitional concept that is not connected to or conditional upon whatever a parent's behavior, or the "feelings' of a child toward the parent, might be at any given time. To me, that implies the consistent exercise of respect and courtesy (even in disagreement), just as a Christian would extend -- probably without even thinking about it -- to other authority figures in the Christian's life, rather than consciously provoking them to anger. If the parent is considered by the child not to "deserve" such treatment, then it would (in my opinion) fall under the same categorization as Jesus' command to His followers to love even their enemies (Matthew 5:43-48).

Honoring one's parents does NOT have to mean slavish obedience or continual agreement, and wise parents will not demand such submission. To me, Paul's command to children to obey their parents "in the Lord" (Ephesians 6:1) indicates the greater duty that children have to obey God in cases where Scripture and parental practices or demands are in conflict.

Christian children should also bear in mind Paul's comment in Ephesians 6:3-4 about the fact that the commandment to honor one's father and mother is the first commandment with a promise of reward that will result from obedience to it -- "that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth." 

Other actions and attitudes that would be in line with the honor that a child should give to parents would include:

patiently listening to them;
freely forgiving them;
maintaining regular contact with them (in person if possible, as well as 
through other means);
assisting them in times of need (1 Timothy 5:4);
discussing memories of positive past experiences with them;
sharing the gospel with them and praying for them if they are not believers.

July 26 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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