What we can learn from honoring our mothers and fathers from Jesus Christ


"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you." – Exodus 20:12 (MEV)

God wants all of us to honor our fathers and mothers. We are always someone's child no matter how old we may be and even if our earthly parents have passed we still have our Father in Heaven, so this commandment never stops applying to us. All who are in Christ should know that even if we are already separated from our parents, we still are God's children and we should honor Him.

I know it's difficult for many of us to honor our parents, especially those who came from broken and/or abusive families. Those who were orphaned without finding a forever home perhaps have it more difficult than others: many of them don't know how it feels to have a loving parent like many others do. My heart goes to all of you.

I've written this article for the express purpose of encouraging all of us to honor our parents no matter how imperfect they may be. Doing it in obedience to the Lord brings so much blessing. Would you want to honor your parents the way God wants you to? Let's learn from the Son of God Himself, Jesus Christ.

How to honor our parents the Jesus way

1) Be submissive and obedient to them

First of all, we are to be submissive and obedient to them. The Lord Jesus was so submissive to the Father that He gave up His own will in obedience to the Father's great plan. We are to learn how to be submissive and obedient as well.

For our part, we are to be submissive and obedient first and foremost to God our Father, and only then to our earthly fathers and mothers. It's always God above man (see Acts 5:29).

2) We seek to have a loving relationship with them

There's a gap in the relationship between many parents and children today. Jesus gives us the perfect example of growing in a loving relationship with our parents.

We see Him going home with His earthly parents to Nazareth and being obedient to them (see Luke 2:51). He grew in His earthly parents' presence (verse 52). We can imagine Him growing in many aspects while living as an obedient child. He did this until He showed up to be baptized in Luke 3.

Then we also read of His affection for His Heavenly Father whom He prays to all the time. He is very close to the Father and is totally committed to doing what the Father wills. He actually came to show us who the Father really is – something that only the Son can do. (see John 14:6-14)

3) We take good care of them

Contrary to how many see Jesus as "disrespectful" for calling Mary "woman" while He hung on the cross, Jesus actually was very thoughtful and loving to make arrangements to leave His earthly mother to the care of the "disciple whom He loved", John, while in great suffering upon the cross (see John 19:26-27).

The Matthew Henry commentary perfectly states what I want to say here: "Christ tenderly provided for [H]is mother at [H]is death." Indeed He did.