Friday, May 9, 2008

The Duty of a Child

I have wonderful parents. I love them. I admire them. I am blessed to be their son. I haven't always done my best to show my appreciation. And, I know, at times, I have disappointed them. But, I seek daily to honor them and be a son in whom they can be proud.

You remember the words of the Apostle Paul: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother'--this is the first commandment with a promise: 'so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth'" (Ephesians 6.1-3).

What does it mean to honor one's parents?
  • To honor means to obey. We honor our parents by respecting their position of authority, a position given to them by God.

  • To honor means to respect the wisdom they have acquired in life. In other words, we must listen to our parents and heed the advice they give and the wisdom they impart.

  • To honor means to be grateful. We must let our parents know that their hard work and sacrifice is deeply appreciated.

  • To honor means that we would never want to bring shame on our family. We should have as a motivation an ever-present consideration of how our actions and attitudes will reflect on our parents. To honor one's parents means to have a desire to live a life of which a parent could be proud.

  • To honor means to care. We must be ready and willing to care for our parents in their times of need. It is sad to walk into a nursing home and see an elderly person alone, without involvement or visits from his or her children. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes can certainly help in times of need, but they shouldn't be used as an excuse for us not to provide care to our elderly parents.

  • To honor means to treasure their memory and uphold their name. The command to honor one's parents does not end as they pass from this life, but the imperative continues to guide us as we live lives directed by their guidance and example.