Is there ANY age-limit for HONORING our PARENTS? Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." (Eph 6:1-3)
As Apostle Paul about to end his letter to the church of Ephesus, he veers away from giving general doctrinal directions to the believers as a whole, and targets specific relationships: husband-wife (5:22-33), children-parents (6:1-3), fathers-children (6:4), and servant-masters (6:5-9). Among these relationships, children-parents relationship has been affected greatly by a lifestyle that promotes a more casual and friendly approach. Many children do not respect or honor parents any more, which may be due to many relevant factors.
However, when we examine the Bible, God has clearly established some critical rules in this relationship that does not change in our post-modern age and times. Children should obey their parents ‘in the Lord’ and ‘honor their parents’ without any restrictions. This is so important for God that He has purposely included this relationship (unlike the others mentioned above) in the ‘Ten Commandments’ and added a promise of longevity for obedience. Apostle Paul has quoted this commandment as he has also commanded all children to obey and respect their parents...always.
In the book ‘The Gift of Blessing’, Gary Smalley and John Trent write the following:
“When Paul tells us to honor our parents, he is telling us that they are worthy of high value and respect. Some people treat their parents as if they are a layer of dust on a table. Dust weighs almost nothing and can be swept away with a brush of the hand. Dust is a nuisance and an eyesore that clouds any real beauty the table might have. Paul tells us that such an attitude should not be a part of how any child views his or her parents, and for good reason. If we fail to honor our parents, we not only do what is wrong and dishonor God, but we also literally drain ourselves of life!”
So, is there any age-limit for honoring parents? In a recent devotion of ‘Our Daily Bread’ (dated Nov 11, 2011), the author (Dennis Fisher) has emphasized that there is no age-limit for honoring our parents:
“For young children, this means obeying parents. For teenagers, it indicates showing respect for Mom and Dad even if you think you know more than they do. For young adults, this means including your parents in your life. And for those in middle-age and beyond, it means making sure that parents are cared for as they move into old age or their health declines”.Let us strive to honor our parents all our lives as God desires, knowing that their days are numbered on this earth. As one New Testament commentary says that to honor parents is to “treat him/her with the deference, respect, reverence, kindness, courtesy, and obedience which his/her station in life…demands!”