If you ask anyone who has a parent(s) questions like do your parent(s) force you to do things you don’t want to do? Are they constantly lecturing you on how to live your life? Do they annoyingly review what you should wear, which music to listen to? Do you find your mum or dad overprotective of you? Or do your parents still treat you like a child even though you are a full grown adult in your own home, with your own family? You would get thousands of yeses to these questions.
When God tells us to honour our mother and father, He doesn’t give a particular character trait, social status or parenting style a parent must possess to qualify to receive honour from their child. God doesn’t say honour your parents if you are happy with every decision they have made concerning your life. Honour your parents if they never spanked or flogged you while growing up. Honour your parents if they are stinky rich, planned a surprise birthday party for you in Dubai for your 21st birthday or handed over to you the keys to a brand new car when you graduated. God says no such thing.
Interestingly, God doesn’t even mention anything about the circumstances surrounding your birth. In God’s eyes it is immaterial whether you are from a polygamous family, were born outside wedlock or from an adulterous relationship or your parents picked you up from a gutter and adopted you.
It is alarming and cause for concern the number of young people that are dying these days, many from diseases previously tagged as being for elderly people. Before we are quick to say life today is so much more stressful than what it was some years ago or these deaths are the work of our ‘village people’ or agents of darkness, we need to also check our lives to see that we aren’t ignoring simple guidelines God has given us to enjoy long life. Guidelines like honour your father and mother so your days shall be long. This command is a remedy, an antidote to sudden and untimely death.
In these days that respect is eroding our culture, everyone is caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, may God help us value, appreciate, care for and give a special place in our hearts to our parents.