We will continue to look in the sixth chapter of the book of Ephesians. We will look at the second verse, “Honor thy father and mother which is the first commandment with promise.” In the last lesson we looked at the first verse which told children to obey their parents. Do you think there is a difference in obeying and honoring parents? If boys and girls obey their parents, they are honoring them, but honoring our parents includes much more. To really honor someone, there has to be respect, gratitude, and yes, love.
One day I was visiting in a home where there were a number of children, Most of the children said they were saved and loved the Lord. For the few hours that I was there, I noticed the children—even the older, larger children—caused much unnecessary work for the mother, even though she had much to do. Some of the children came in from school, and dropped their books on the dining table, others changed clothes and left the clothes right on the floor. One emptied a box of toys and played for just a few minutes and then went outside, leaving all the toys for mother to pick up. This went on and on, and the mother had to go around picking up after each one, even though she was trying to prepare a good meal for them and their father.
As I began to write this column today, I thought of these young people. Would treating a mother like this be showing her any honor or love or respect or consideration? Certainly we may expect things like this from very small children, or babies, but some of these children were teenagers! As mothers, we love our children and enjoy doing things for them, even if it means going from morning until night, but should Christian boys and girls take such advantage of this love? This may seem like a small thing to many boys and girls, but we must remember that the Lord expects us to begin our life for Him, right in our homes. Our family life is so important if we are to be a testimony for our Lord. Our testimony begins in our homes and then will extend to others outside the home. We must learn to be “doers of the Word.” Boys and girls then should act upon the instructions from His Word, when they are told not only to obey, but to honor their parents. In 1 John 4:7, we read, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God….” We surely have no life for Christ without love, and this love for one another certainly must be for mothers and fathers as well as other people. Boys and girls who are selfish and disrespectful in their homes, will be selfish and disrespectful outside their homes as well. Then they will have no testimony for the Lord that loved them and gave Himself for them. Maybe now you would like to memorize 1 John 4:7.
Today, I am a grown lady, and have my own children and grandchildren, and yet I am still in the position of “honoring my parents.” It has been a long time since I was home with my parents and obeying the things they tell me to do. However, I will never “outgrow” the admonition to “honor thy father and mother.”