"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12)
According to the Bible, God commands all of us to honor our fathers and mothers. This is an unconditional command, meaning we are to do it regardless of who they are and what they do.
But how do we do it? How do we honor our parents the right way? I hope to help you with that.
Here are a few ways we can honor our fathers and mothers.
1) Treat them well regardless of how they treated you
Many Christians find it so difficult to honor their parents, especially if the parents are abusive and haven't treated their children well. That's understandable, but God wants us to honor our parents, good or bad, just the same.
Did you know that even if you were neglected or abused by your mom or dad, God is taking care of you? David declared in Psalm 27:10,
"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me."
This is true. God has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Even if our parents leave us, God won't. And God's love will enable us to love our parents and forgive them for their many mistakes.
2) Be your best outside the home
One of the best ways to honor our parents is to simply shine wherever we may be. The book of Proverbs tells us several times that this is true. Proverbs 23:24-25, for example, tells us,
"The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who begets a wise child will delight in him. Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her who bore you rejoice."
That said, we should desire to learn more about God and be more obedient to Him. We should all strive to excel in our craft. We should grow in character and be as Christ-like as we can be.
Keep in mind that Jesus Himself was obedient to His earthly parents even though He is God, and when He grew up He still honored them until His death on the cross. (see Luke 2:51; John 15:25-27)
3) Treat your own (or future) family well
Last but not the least, we should all learn to treat our own family well. They may not say it, but deep inside our parents will want nothing more than for us to have a life that's better than theirs. And so we should live our lives well.
A huge part of this includes treating our own spouses and children well. When our parents see how our own families are taken care of and provided for, they'll be proud of us, not to mention happy that their efforts in raising us up (or the lack of it) has trained us to be good family men and women.
In Genesis 48, we read Jacob blessing Joseph's sons. It was a very dramatic scene, because Jacob never thought of seeing Joseph again, but now he is looking at his own grandchildren! He blessed them with much delight, even as he was old and his eyes were already dim. Such is the joy that our parents feel when they see our own families.
I hope this helps you, friends. God bless you!