Our 24 Family Ways is a book that my family uses to chart a path for our thoughts and behavior toward authorities, relationships, possessions, work, attitudes, and choices. It has served as a guide for me as I attempt to develop good character in them.
We are on the third family way. It is:
We honor and obey our parents with a respectful attitude.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ – which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘that is may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.'”
Ephesians 6:1-3 (NIV)
This passage in Ephesians is quoting the 5th Commandment, found in Exodus 20:12.
To honor parents means to esteem and value them highly. The first way to accomplish this, as the above passage begins, is to obey them. It is both an external action and an internal attitude if it is truly “…in the Lord.”
“Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.”
Children honor their parents by listening to their advice and obeying their instruction.
“My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they wil be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains around your neck.” Proverbs 1:8 – 9
When we review this instruction in regards to authorities in our family, I ask a few of the following questions to start discussions:
*What things do others do that honor you?
*If you were a daddy, what advice would you give your son about growing up?
*What traits do you see in your mom/dad that you respect?
*If you are told to clean your room today, what are the different ways you could respond that are obedient?
*What would our family be like if everyone was equal in authority?
*Which authorities do you submit to regularly in your life? Why?
While it may feel a little self-serving to remind your kids to honor you, it is really for their benefit. If they learn to honor you, they will be more likely to honor others in authority, such as bosses, policemen, professors, the elderly, etc.
And this commandment’s teaching should begin with relationship with your kids, compassion towards what they’re going through, and a commitment to obedience from the very beginning. Parents who try to beat their rebellious children into submission by quoting this scripture to them will be as successful as they would be trying to steer their car by honking their horns.
In Biblical times, honor was only given to people – not to things. Not to paintings, buildings, ideas, theater, beauty, etc.
As you raise your kids to honor you, remember to model this precept by giving honor to others around you.