“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God will give you.” – (Exodus 20:12, NLT)
I was planning to take the entire weekend off due to my family having this summer cold that’s going around, but I feel like the Lord is leading me to write a Mother’s Day message. So, I guess without any further delay…let’s get into today’s message: “Honor Your Father AND Your Mother”
Today’s Message: “Honor Your Father AND Your Mother”
As I mentioned in the introduction, my family has been attacked by this summer cold, and that includes my nine month old daughter. I know that it’s been quite a long while since I last penned a message, and that’s for good reason…the Lord directed me to take a few steps back and focus on my family.
However, as I was prepared to wait until tomorrow to start writing and posting again…I had the thought of doing a quick Mother’s Day message, and when I came across Exodus 20:12 I sensed the anointing to write…and so I am.
Let’s look at our message scripture again, shall we…
Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God will give you.
Do you know that honoring your parents isn’t a suggestion, but a commandment? I know it’s not just me, and I know that what I’m about to say isn’t because I’m 40. It’s also not just because I’m a father, and have a step son. I’m saying this because in general I’ve seen a decline in the amount of children that honor their parents.
So, that’s what this message is about. Even though this message is about honoring both parents…since it’s Mother’s Day this is about how we can honor our Mother’s…and there are 10 Ways to do that…let’s look at them and ask the Holy Ghost to help us explain how we can honor our Mother’s by using these 10 ways.
#1) Respectfully Disagree
“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father…older women as mothers” (1 Timothy 5:1-2).
There are times you may not agree wholeheartedly with your parents. They could be absolutely wrong with their opinions and/or lifestyle. You show honor by resisting the urge to be disrespectful in your words, actions, thoughts, or manners.
Maybe it’s because of the way I was raised, but it drives me crazy to hear children being openly disrespectful when they disagree with their mom. There are times I didn’t and still don’t always agree with my mother, and there are plenty of times that she doesn’t agree with me. We have, however, learned to respectfully disagree. There’s an old saying that says if you don’t have anything nice to say…then don’t say anything.
Disrespecting your mother no matter what the reason isn’t just being disrespectful to her…it’s disrespecting God. After all, it’s His Word that commands us to be respectful of our parents to begin with…and some times, friends there isn’t a better reason I can give you for why we should or shouldn’t do something is simply because the Bible says so…and here in 1 Timothy 5:1-2 says we’re not to rebuke our parents.
#2) Patiently Listen
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
Our parents need us to slow down and listen to their words of advice. There’s so much we can learn from the past generations to avoid the pitfalls and mistakes they’ve made. However, we can repeat the failures of the past if we don’t reflect on the insights of our elders.
There’s many of us who can use the wisdom in James 1:19, couldn’t we? I can think of a few times that I could’ve used the wisdom here with my parents, and even with my former employer. Had I been a little slower to anger and to speak then I might still have a job, but it’s God who did what He’s always done in my life and used something I screwed up for good.
My wife just asked me yesterday when I think her son will get out of the “I know everything stage”, and unfortunately I didn’t really have an answer for her. However, I admitted that I could’ve helped myself out a few times in my own life had I listened to my mom’s advice or opinions. If I had…I may have avoided some of the pitfalls I experienced, but that’s why they say hind-sight is 20/20…
#3) Freely Forgive
“I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12).
God in His grace and mercy grants each of us forgiveness even though we deserve punishment. How much more should we extend that same grace and mercy to our parents? There’s no pain that escapes the healing touch of Jesus when we extend the same forgiveness that is freely given to us.
This one was difficult for me for a long, long while, but it was necessary for me to do so. I won’t go into detail out of a desire to honor and respect my mom, but there are things from our past that made it very difficult for me to forgive her for. Let’s just say that the one person that I was supposed to find comfort and safety in wasn’t my mother…but that’s where I was lucky enough to have a grandmother that was.
However, I understand that forgiveness isn’t just about them, but it’s about my heart. I cannot be a child of God nor can I be a man of God nor can I be a servant of God if I harbor unforgiveness in my heart.
After all, I’ve done plenty in my life that doesn’t deserve God’s forgiveness, mercy, love, or grace…but He extended those to me anyways…while I was still in my sin…and if He can do that for me while I was still at odds with Him…then I need to freely forgive everyone…including my mother…and I have.
After all, true biblical love bears no record of wrong doings. It forgives without memory, and it forgives regardless of the wrong that was done. Complete forgiveness keeps bitterness from taking root in our hearts, and that’s why it’s important that no matter what our mothers may have done to hurt us is irrelevant.
Think about all that we do on a regular basis that hurts the heart of God…yet He forgives us…freely and completely. And…I don’t think I need to remind you of this, but I will anyways.
Our Heavenly Father will forgive us of our trespasses the way we forgive those (including our parents) who have trespassed against us…no matter what they may have done…and I can speak to this because I endured physical, verbal, and emotional abuse as a child…we need to forgive them as unconditionally as God forgives us.
I understand there’s a lot that could be said here. I can understand if the hurt is from sexual abuse. I don’t know what it’s like to suffer that from a parent as a child, but I do know that if you hold on to the bitterness and unforgiveness towards them for that…until you can let that go and forgive it…for YOU…it will impact your relationship with God until you do.
Forgiveness is more about making sure that bitterness and unforgiveness doesn’t take root in our hearts, and if there’s anything like that in your heart towards your parents…then I would like to encourage you to pray about it…and if it’s deeper like sexual abuse I’d encourage you to talk to your pastor about it.
#4) Regularly Contact
“See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!” (Galatians 6:11).
We are disciples of Christ when we honor our parents with letters, cards, or phone calls on a consistent basis. A minor inconvenience for us may mean a great deal to our parents or grandparents. Demonstrate the grace of God to maintain regular contact.
Gosh, I am horrible at regularly contacting my mom. I’m a lot better than I used to be, but I can admit that I’m not very good at regularly contacting anyone. I’ve a tendency to close myself off a lot, and that’s something I’m regularly seeking the Lord to help me with.
Some times it’s because I get tired of having to be the one to reach out to make the regular contact. One of the reasons I struggle with my worth to others is because there’s hardly anyone that takes the initiative to regularly reach out to contact me…I’ve removed a lot of people from my life because of that. I know this is an area that I need to work on, and that’s about all I can say about this.
#5) Faithfully Visit
“I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete” (2 John 12).
Your physical presence or touch ignites the bond between parent and child.
A warm smile, a hearty handshake, or a tight hug in the name of Christ speaks volumes of love and fellowship to your parents. Your Father in heaven receives glory when you take time out of your busy schedule to reaffirm your love and respect.
This is another area that I need to improve upon. My mom lives about 15 minutes away from me, and yet I rarely visit. A lot of that is because I don’t have a car seat, and even if I did my car has transmission issues that make it difficult for me to drive there. But, this is another area that I need to work on.
It’s always nice to take time to visit my parents, and as I write this I can hear the Lord clearly saying that it’s important to not take them for granted because life is short. I don’t want to wait for one or both of my parents not to be here before I say that I should’ve spent more time with them…and I’m guessing you probably don’t want that to happen either…Amen!?!
#6) Generously Assist
“If a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God” (1 Timothy 5:4).
Your faith in the living God is revealed in how your care for your parents or grandparents. God is pleased when you help them take care of their home, provide financial assistance, health care, or look after their daily affairs. The Lord remembers your acts of kindness even if mom and dad forget in their old age.
I do the best I can to help them out whenever they ask me to with yard work or dog sitting or whatever the need is that arises. I’m glad they don’t need my help financially because I’m not in a place I can do that, but I can generously assist them by helping them whenever they need help that I can provide them.
#7) Consistently Love
“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).
Sometimes our parents will have to lean on us more than they ever planned to do. This can lead to them feeling like they are a burden. Your unconditional love demonstrated by words and actions overcomes the temptation for them to despair. Your love should only increase as you get older and appreciate the sacrifices made on your behalf.
Over the last couple of years I’ve had the privilege of being able to be a support for my parents. They’re quite active in rescuing dogs, and over the last few years they’ve had a couple of them pass away. I’ve also had the privilege of just being able to share the love of God with my parents. They may not know I’m sharing God’s love with them, but it’s nice to be able to be there for my parents because they see something in me that’s different and gives them strength.
#8) Gently Correct
“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word” (Proverbs 15:23).
There may be times when you may have to correct your parents especially if they choose to continue in sin. Your correction must overflow with love, kindness, respect, and patience. They reserve the choice to heed your input or to disregard it.
I’ve had to tread lightly with this because my parents aren’t believers, and they have views that sadly mirror the world. We tend to do like the first point and respectfully disagree. They have worldly views in areas that I have a biblical view and that can be a cause for unwanted strife. So, I’ve learned with the help of the Holy Ghost to not pour gas on a fire, and just respectfully disagree. I realize that some will be offended about this, but you can take care of your relationship with your parents however you like.
However, keep in mind that the Bible says that the peacemakers are blessed…and I think maybe peacekeepers are too.
Don’t get this twisted. I take a stand for the Word of God with them, but I also choose not to battle my parents. I choose to be a peace maker…and love them rather than argue with them.
#9) Fondly Reminisce
“You always have pleasant memories of us” (1 Thessalonians 3:6).
It doesn’t take a lot of energy to come up with everything your parents did wrong. They weren’t perfect, only Jesus is perfect. It’s more edifying and encouraging to share fond memories. Seek the Lord’s insight into what your parents did that resulted in your health, strength, knowledge, and the grace for you to come to know Christ.
I guess being 40 it’s easier to reminisce these days than it really ever has been. I guess I’ve lived enough of life to be able to reminisce about things with them…and have good memories to reminisce about. I can also tell you that I never allow my parents to blame themselves for my decisions…they did the best they could to raise me…and therefore my decisions and choices are mine…and not their fault.
#10) Steadfastly Testify
“This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12).
As a believer, you have the responsibility to share the gospel especially with your family members. Your parents may be antagonistic towards the Gospel, yet through prayerful intercession the Holy Spirit can wear down their resistance. By staying firm in the truth of God’s word and living righteously, God can change the hardest of hearts.
My life is a living testimony. They see the difference God has made in my life which is why I refuse to argue with them, and why I allow the Holy Ghost to help me to discern when to engage in discussions or not to because it’s important for me to not ruin my testimony by engaging in arguments.
I’m not perfect, but I’m still in the process of being perfected. It is wonderful that my parents both see the difference in who I am versus who they remember…and they know that it’s because of the work God has done and continues to do in my life.
I believe God is going to use my life to minister to them, and I believe that before they leave this world my parents will confess Christ as their Lord and Savior…but that can’t happen if I’m not willing to allow the Holy Ghost to set the pace and tempo.
Perhaps the greatest thing we can all do to honor our parents is to be that silent testimony. After all, they know our lives from the beginning, and can see the before and after effects of God in our lives…and it would do us well to remember all 10 of these ways to honor them…because in the end God told us to honor our fathers and mothers…and if you think that’s changed…it hasn’t.
I’ll close this message with scripture from Paul that confirms that God hasn’t changed His mind about the commandment He gave us to honor our parents…because in honoring them…we honor the greatest Daddy of all…and that alone should be the reason…because the Bible tells us we’re to do all that we do as unto the Lord…for His glory…and included in that “ALL” is the reason we’re to honor our parents…Amen!?!
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother ” (Ephesians 6:1-2a).
I found this as I was searching for something that would help to explain what it means to “honor” our parents, and I thought this would be a good thing to include here as we close out this message…and I don’t think I’ll need to add anything else…
The word translated honor means to value or prize. God is telling us we should value our parents highly. When you consider something valuable you take care of it, and speak well of it. This is how you should treat your parents — if you desire God’s blessing.
Thank You for giving us this message about honoring our parents, and help us, Lord God to remember that honoring them isn’t a suggestion…it’s a commandment that contains a promise. Help us also to remember that honoring them is something that is right in your sight…and also something we can do to honor You.
Bless all Mothers and Grandmothers and Mother in Laws this day as we honor them on Mother’s Day…and help us to not limit our honoring them to just one day…but every day. Help us to treat them with value.
We love You, Lord…and thank You for speaking to us this day about our relationship with our parents. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen & Amen.
Friends, I hate to do this, but I’m afraid I have to humble myself, and learn to ask my readers for your help financially. Before you say it, I know that there are so many preachers who are frauds, but I am sincere in my heart. Please know that I wouldn’t ask you for help financially if I didn’t need it. Running a ministry (even an online one) is just like running a business. There are always expenses for office supplies, for the ability to operate and maintain our WordPress site, and to upgrade things like the appearance of our site. No matter what…there are always costs associated with ministry.
In order to assure you that every penny sent into Christlike Ministries NWA will go directly into the ministry I have set up it’s own Walmart Money Card. Yes, the check or money orders will still need to made out to me directly for now until I can set up a real ministry bank account…this card is strictly going to be used for ministry purchases and purposes.
If you can or will help out Christlike Ministries NWA financially I ask you to please email the ministry directly at firstname.lastname@example.org . I will give you more information there.
God bless you and thank you for being a part of the Christlike Ministries NWA family. I truly love and am thankful for all of you.
Bryan J. Kizer
Pastor/Founder Christlike Ministries NWA