“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.” (Exodus 20:12)
I’ve often thought that this verse meant so much more than just respecting your parents.
To me, respecting your parents entails obeying them, listening to their advice, caring for them as they grow old…things of that sort.
But to honor someone just feels heftier to me. It means that you are taking it upon yourself to consider that person as deserving the absolute highest respect and admiration and sometimes even love.
Honor implies not only the greatest respect you can muster but also a mindfulness of that person’s importance in your life.
The other thing in this verse that stands out to me is the promise that comes along with honoring your parents – “that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”
As is often the case, God doesn’t urge us to do something without reason.
In other words, honoring your father and mother is good for you.
Jesus, made sure to honor His mother. Though He was dying, He thought of her.
“Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.” (John 19:27)
What strikes me about this is that, even at the worst time, Jesus was mindful of His mother, her needs, and her love for Him.
How often do you call to mind the woman who nurtured you, taught you, laughed and cried with you, maybe knew you better than you knew yourself? Do you think of her in the good times and the bad times?
Do you honor her in your thoughts? The lessons you learned from her, the love she poured into you…Or do you let it all go to waste?
What would you have done in Jesus’ situation? Mary had no one left (that we know of) and she most likely wouldn’t have been able to take care of herself. So Jesus made sure that sure would be looked after and supported.
If Jesus can do that from the cross (in extreme pain, I’m sure), then surely we can make the time and mental space to honor our own mothers to the best of our abilities.
*Written for Park Place Church of God