Missionary Becky Ranalli spoke last Sunday of what brings honor and reward to the family and into the home. She spoke about the promise that God has in Ephesians 6 to make life go well and how to live a long and happy life. The promise is contingent upon following the first commandment to “honor your father and mother.” What is honor and how important is it in our lives in today’s world?
First of all honor is more an attitude than it is an action. It begins with an attitude of obedience. Ephesians 6:1-3 gives us such good instruction on how to live a long and happy life. It begins with “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.” (vs. 1) Obedience is not something we do because we are bound to a legalistic or religious formula for success. The scripture says that obedience to parents is “the right thing to do.” Be real—no one can go wrong by doing something that is right!
We parents know that obedience from our children is generally not a problem while they are small and in their formative years. They totally trust our judgment for their decisions. We teach them to honor God and to love Him and we teach them the value of obeying their parents. The word obedience means to “give heed, to follow, and to yield.” Our children follow us. It honors and rewards us as parents every time our children respond obediently to us.
The next step toward honoring parents is when children submit to our authority. The opposite of submission is rebellion which means to disregard parental authority. Remember that honor means to value, and carries the meaning of respect, and even reverence. For parents who want to receive the full reward of honor from your children, we need to check on what kind of honor and value we place upon our children and to those who are in authority over us. If our children are valued they will flourish. We teach them love and respect when we discipline them when they misbehave. We cannot just try to “love” our children out of evil behavior when in reality the word of God tells parents that “the rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” (Proverbs 29:15) We are honoring our children when we correct them and they reward us when they are obedient and submit to we parents.
Obedience in the home begins with the parents obedience and submission to God. “I will honor those who honor me.” God says (I Samuel 2:30) When parents show honor and respect to the authorities which God places over their lives, children will follow with the same respect and honor towards authority. When husbands and wives honor each other with respect, children will follow by showing respect to their parents. By “submitting ourselves to one another in the fear of the Lord” and by “preferring others over ourselves” we will bring honor to others and receive an honors reward of peace and happiness.