Sunday, February 4, 2024

Parental Honor: Credit and Commend

By Clifton Angel

    “Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2–3). We’ve noted the need for children to honor their parents by complying to their authority: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1). Now, let us consider two additional ways whereby we may exhibit parental honor.
    Credit. Once we get past our teenage years of thinking we know everything and that our parents know nothing [at least, that is the stereotype—not all teenage children follow the stereotype], and especially as we grow to the point of needing to provide for ourselves, we begin to appreciate more the training, teaching, presence, support, and discipline provided us by our parents. Furthermore, there comes a time when a man must “leave father and mother and cleave unto his wife” (Ephesians 5:29; Matthew 19:5; Genesis 2:24). It is during these times in a child’s life that he can really begin to “give credit where credit is due,” which is actually a Biblical principle (cf. Romans 13:7). Children accrediting their parents for their hard work, knowledge, and wisdom is another way they may bring honor to their father and mother. “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother” (Proverbs 1:8). In this context, it is a real temptation to allow parental interference into one’s marriage (e.g. the husband who expects his wife to do things the same way his mother did them, or the wife who complains about her husband’s faults to her mother, et. al.). Such would be false honor toward parents, since it dishonors God and His design for marriage. Great parental honor is accomplished when spouses use their parents’ former training, wisdom, and discipline for true betterment of their own marriage.
    Commend. Continuing with the process of life, maturing offspring can give parental honor with their ways and their words. “A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother” (Proverbs 10:1). “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice” (Proverbs 23:24–25). Righteous living commends righteous parents. Furthermore, words of praise also bring them honor. Of the virtuous woman, it is said, “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her” (Proverbs 31:28).
    Complying, in the Lord, with our parents while living under their roof is honorable. Crediting our parents by following their godly training when we are no longer under their roof is honorable. Commending them with our ways and our words as we mature, marry, and multiply our own household is honorable. Lord willing, let us consider how the command demands we also care for our parents.

 Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website:

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