Honor Your Parents

12 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

My great-grandfather lived to be over 100 years old, and because of this, I often hear family members saying that he must’ve really respected his parents. It seems to me that when many of us hear or discuss the fifth commandment, we tend to focus on the idea that we must respect our parents in order to live a long life, but is that really what the verse is telling us?

If we take a closer look at what the commandment actually says, the promise isn’t about the lengthy number of days you will live if you follow the commandment. The promise is that you will live long in the land. What land? The Promised Land. For us Christians today, this isn’t a physical promise but a spiritual one.

The Gospels record an encounter between Jesus and the Scribes and Pharisees in Jerusalem one day. They came to Jesus and tried to condemn Him and His disciples for breaking the traditions of the elders because the disciples didn’t wash their hands before eating. Jesus then asked them why they broke the law for the sake of their traditions. Now, the reason I bring this up is because, first, the law that they broke was the fifth commandment, honoring their father and mother.

The second reason I brought this up is because these Pharisees are never recorded as repenting and accepting the Messiah. So, if they never repented and accepted Jesus, then they never entered the Promised Land. Could it be then that they couldn’t see that the Messiah, Jesus, had come because they couldn’t follow this command? Could the lack of respecting your parents cause you to be spiritually blind and incapable of seeing the Truth even when it staring you in the face?

Don’t let traditions, self-desires, rebellion, stubbornness, or any other stronghold keep you from seeing and recognizing the Truth. For without accepting and following the Truth, there is no salvation. No freedom. No Promised Land. If we can’t honor our parents, who are on earth and we see every day, how can we honor our Heavenly Father, who is in Heaven? It’s never too late to begin to honor your parents. It’s never too late to start fresh and new.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Honor Your Parents.

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