Brighton Church of Christ
Honour Your Parents
In the list of things worthy of death found in Romans, chapter 1, is disobedience to parents (verse 30). Proverbs 30:17 says, "The eye that mocks his father, and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it." It is clear, that God's will for man is that he honor his parents and that sad consequences follow him who does not.
Leviticus 19:3 teaches us to reverence our parents: “Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father…” I am to have a high regard for them and hold them in high esteem. Now this will cause me to do or not do many things. First, I will have to watch my tongue. The Scripture warns us about "cursing" our mother and father: “And he who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.” (Exodus 21:17) That was a pretty strong penalty in the Old Testament. Even if I do not use foul language, I can be guilty of this, if I speak disparagingly or harshly, critically and without respect. I must remember to honor them in word.
Secondly, I need to reverence them in deed. Leviticus 19:32 says, "You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man.." Solomon, after he became king, rose to meet his mother when she came before him and bowed himself down to her. See I Kings 2:19. “So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king arose to meet her, bowed before her, and sat on his throne; then he had a throne set for the king's mother, and she sat on his right.” I am not saying children must do literally the same today, but reverence must be in action and not solely in word.
And third, we must show our honor with support in their old age. I Timothy 5:4 teaches that we must show our piety (reverence) at home by repaying them as need warrants. “but if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family, and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.” A Christian is said to be worse than an unbeliever if he will not financially support them: “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.” (verse 8). Jesus adds in Mark 7:9-13 that such help cannot go unprovided due to you giving it to the temple. I do not honor my parents, if I refuse to take care of their physical welfare in their older days. This is God's social security plan.