Q: Dear Minister, I’m having a hard time dealing with my unsaved parents; so I was wondering, could you explain what the Bible means about honoring your Father and Mother. Does this honor apply to my situation?
A: Mistakenly, we are conditioned to believe giving gifts to our parents on certain day’s defines what honor is. Unfortunately, while this may be a worldly expression of honor, biblical honor has a much broader meaning.
A son honors his father and a servant his master: if then I am a father, where is mine honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? The LORD of hosts is asking. O priests that despise my name. And you say, Wherein have we despised thy name? (Mal 1:6)
True honor is evidence not in giving gifts once a year, but in an ongoing life of obedience to the parents. It’s an absolute lack of respect to give gifts to your parents on father’s day and mother’s day and remain disrespectful the remainder of the year. I call this hypocritical dishonor. Hypocritical dishonor is the actions of someone that will attend church on Sunday claiming to believe the instructions of the bible only to live a compromising spiritual lifestyle the rest of the week. Thus, many people have been conditioned to give gifts to their parents once a year but the rest of the days of the year they live a conflicting and dishonoring lifestyle.
‘These people says God, honor me with their words, but their heart is really far away from me”. (Mat 15:8)
Therefore in order to really bring honor to the parent’s children must be willing to live a life in accordance with the teaching of the parents. This sort of honor extends the life of the parents and is passed down to the children’s, children. Jesus said, “I honor my Father, and you do dishonor me”. (John 8:49) So how did Jesus honor the Father? The honor was displayed in his acts of obedience too the father and this honor were passed down to the church.
Wherefore, I must clarify, (as Christians) we can’t always fulfill the fullness of the scriptures to honor our parent when our parents are unsaved. Here’s why, while we can honor them in our treatments of speech, and helps, we can’t always submit ourselves to their full obedience because our unsaved parent’s instructions sometimes disregard the will and laws of God.
Therefore we are commanded to honor our unsaved parents in all, as long as what they may describe as honor doesn’t challenge the perfect will of God. Jesus explains “If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple”. This doesn’t teach us to literally hate our kinsmen, but rather we must choose between honoring God and honoring my family. As believers we must choose to honor God above all.