Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12
As God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, He did so inviting the children of Israel into a relationship with their God and Creator. The God of creation, the God of deliverance, the God of love provides all we need for life in this world. Within this provision is the gift of parents who help us to grow in fear and love of the Lord.
With the fourth commandment, God calls us to love and cherish those whom He has chosen to nurture and guide us. Sadly, parents do not always live up to the expectation God places upon them. We are all sinful beings. We all fall short of God’s glory. Even as the relationship between parent and child is corrupted by sin, this does not relieve us from the meaning of the commandment. We are to love and honor our parents, just as we love and honor the Lord.
When human bonds are broken, we can lift them up to God, praying for healing, reconciliation and wholeness. We give thanks for faithful parent-child relationships, and pray that God’s love would rest upon those whose relationships are strained.
God’s command to love our parents is certainly a reflection of His love for us. It is the first commandment given with a promise attached. The promise of long life and God’s continued presence is given to all who live in the bonds of love. And so we honor our parents, serving and loving them just as God commands.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of parents, for their love and guidance, and for the promise of life with you. Amen.