- Listen to Honor Thy Father - By Ariel Allison
“Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you.
Ephesians 6: 2-3
Honor, according to Webster’s dictionary is, “a good name or public esteem. A showing of unusual merited respect.” Being an adult does not relieve us of Scripture’s command to honor our mother and father. Yet is a verse we often associate with young children or rebellious teenagers. The truth is that I have struggled with this command more than any other. For many years I didn’t feel as though my father was worthy of honor. It helped me tremendously when I read these words by Dennis Rainey:
“Honoring your parents does not mean endorsing irresponsibility or sin. It is not a denial of what they have done wrong as parents. Honoring your parents means choosing to place great value on your relationship with them…It is an attitude accompanied by actions that say to your parents, ‘You are worthy. You have value. You are the person God sovereignly placed in my life.’”
Shortly before my father passed away, I felt God calling me to stand up at his funeral and honor him publicly. I stood before 200 people that day and shared the things that my father had done right. I told of how he loved the word of God and how he imparted that love to me. I told of his compassion for those in society that no one else cared for. I told of his great love for sharing the gospel and I told of his ability to keep a promise. He said, “until death do us part” to my mother and he meant it.
That was the last page in the last chapter of my relationship with my dad. And I didn’t stand in front of those people and lie. I padded nothing. I celebrated the good things about him honestly and freely. I said goodbye to my dad on a Thanksgiving evening and he slipped into eternity hours later. That day has become about far more than turkey for me. It has become a day that I quiet my heart and thank God for the man who gave me life. Each year I try to honor him on that day, if not out loud, then at least in my heart.
Is there a way that you can honor your parents today, as an adult, intentionally? Perhaps a phone call. Maybe by offering forgiveness for a past sin. Maybe by thanking them for the legacy they have left you and your children. Or it may be as simple as not saying something. Regardless, I challenge you to place your mother or father in that place of honor and experience God’s blessings as a result.
Ariel Allison is a published author who lives in a small Texas town with her husband and three young sons. She is the co-author of Daddy Do You Love Me: a Daughter’s Journey of Faith and Restoration (New Leaf Press, 2006). Justin Case, the first of three children’s books will released by Harvest House Publishers in June 2009. She ponders on life as a mother of all boys at www.themoabclub.blogspot.com and on her thoughts as a redeemed dreamer at www.arielallison.blogspot.com. She and her husband are expecting their fourth son in December.