Most of us are familiar with the Ten Commandments received by Moses and the people of Israel at Mount Sinai. More than a list of “dos” and “don’ts,” the commandments tell us how to honor and worship God, which teaches us how to love and respect others, like our parents.
The fifth commandment says, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12 NIV). The relationship with our parents is so significant that it is the first earthly relationship addressed in the commandments, and it’s the only one to come with a blessing from God.
When I speak about “mothers” or “fathers,” I refer to anyone who may have taken a parent figure in your life. Jesus showed that the definition of family in God’s Kingdom goes beyond blood relations: “’Pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother’” (Matthew 12:49-50).
The reality is, not everyone is born to parents who reflect the Fatherly love of God. Yet God calls us to honor them too. Why? What is the connection between honoring our parents and honoring God?
When we treat our parents respectfully and with love, we take the opportunity to honor God with our obedience, reflecting the relationship our heavenly Father seeks to have with us. No matter who our parents are, God will honor our obedience, and He is faithful to make himself known in ways we can’t imagine.
Whoever the mother or father figures in your life are, here are the significant ways you honor God by honoring those who raised you:
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