Ephesians 6:1-3 (NLT) Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord for this is the right thing to do. 2 “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
Honor = to value, to respect, view as precious, to give a heaviness or weightiness to something.
When we honor someone we revere them, we submit to them, we dignify them, we OBEY them and we respect them. These are attitudes as well as actions. When you honor someone, you recognize his/her importance (value or weightiness) and you respond to it.
Dishonor = to ignore, to view as trivial, to view as insignificant or unimportant, to disrespect.
Let’s get real… Has anyone ever ignored your parents? Viewed their request or question as unimportant? Viewed their authority in your life as insignificant? Has anyone disrespected your parents or those in authority over you? Has anyone ever treated the things of God as trivial or unimportant? Has anyone every goofed off during church or SURGE? Have you ever laughed in your parent’s faces (or behind their backs) about something they are asking you to do? Have you ever made fun of your parents… a teacher, a coach, a police man (ha ha he’s eating donuts)? Have you ever talked back to your parents? Have you ever stormed off in anger and slammed the door behind you? Yes! We all have. But you know what… It’s not OK. It’s not funny. Dishonor is hurting you and hurting this generation.
There is a story in the bible about Eli and his sons. I Samual 2:17 says “This sin of the young men was very great in the LORD’s sight, for they were treating the LORD’s offering with contempt.”
We live in a “whatever” generation. We live in a “it’s no big deal” culture. Everything is common. There is not much left in our world that is holy. Not much left that is worth honor in young people’s minds. We don’t know honor. We don’t know how to respect. And it’s costing us. It’s costing us BIG TIME.
I Samuel 2:30 says “But now the LORD declares: ‘Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.”
John 12:26 “Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.”
I love this video clip about honor. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfBb-Jlgn1U
Roger that! Do we do that with God and things that are important to Him? Do we do that with our parents and those in authority over us? Clean up the dishes… roger that! Read the bible… roger that! Take out the trash… roger that! Reach out to someone… roger that! Give a lot… roger that! Michael Monsoor honored his country and team above all else. He gave everything! In return, his country gave him the highest medal of honor possible. In the same way, when we honor God (and His things) above all else… He honors us.
There are many ways that God honors us, but one of the highest honors that God gives us, is His presence. God is everywhere, but God’s presence isn’t manifested everywhere. There is a big barrier to him manifesting His presence… no honor. Lack of respect. No value for the things of God. But if we will honor Him… above all else, he will honor us. If you are not experiencing the presence of God on a regular basis you need to take a look at what you are honoring or dishonoring in your life. Honor God and He honors us.
Here are some practical ways we can put this honor thing into action…
Be Responsive… Roger That! When your parents (God, coach, teacher, pastor) ask you to do something or not to do something, respond to them immediately and fully. Don’t wait until they ask several times and are tired and frustrated. Don’t do only a part of what they have asked you to do. And don’t stop doing only part of what they asked you to stop doing. Let them know you hear them and value their instruction. Honor them by obeying in full. Colossians 3 says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men”
Be Thankful. Your parents work very hard to provide food, a bed, a roof and other things for you. They train you and protect you. It is easy to take this for granted, but don’t! Think about every small thing they do for you, and honor them by thanking them on a regular basis. They are not perfect, but they love you very much and are doing their best to meet your needs. Especially thank them when they do something special for you.
Be Helpful. Don’t wait to be asked to help out…honor your parents by offering to help them on a regular basis. This can be simple things like helping with dinner, picking up trash on the floor when you see it, helping wash dinner dishes or entertaining a younger brother or sister when you see that your mom is trying to get something done. Pay attention and ask God to give you opportunities to bless your parents!
Be Open. Honor your parents by communicating with them. Talk to them and listen to them. Tell them about the good in your day and share with them about the hard things you go through. Ask them questions. Be willing to talk to them when you are upset and things need to be worked out between you and them. Be respectfully honest when you feel misunderstood or when you are upset about a decision they have made. Give your parents a chance to hear your heart and to work things out with you. If they don’t hear from you, they won’t know what is in your heart. Remember, they were kids once, too. Maybe they will understand better than you expect. Trust their love for you.
Be Forgiving. Your parents are not perfect and will definitely make mistakes sometimes. They may forget something that is important to you. They may get angry and lose their temper. They may not do something you want them to do, may seem unfair, may misunderstand you or even blame you for something you did not do. Remember, NONE of us are perfect. We ALL make mistakes. Honor your parent by being forgiving toward them and remember that they are doing the best they know how to do to take care of you. If you ask God, he will help you forgive them when you are disappointed or upset.