Honour thy Father and thy Mother!

Greetings! I am excited about this command, because it so powerful, yet often overlooked.
This great command is Honor thy Father and Mother. I think for most of us, we feel like we are honoring our parents and that our parents are pretty blessed to have great children like us! ; )
As we look at the Scriptures, however, we see that honoring goes a lot further than just outward obedience and that we are hugely blessed when we honor them.
Jesus said, "For God commanded saying, Honor thy father and mother: and He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death" (Matthew15:4).
So what does it look like to honor our parents? Honoring our parents means that we are revering them, and valuing them both outwardly and in our hearts. It can be easy to obey outwardly while we murmur and complain in our hearts. God sees the heart and is not fooled for a second. If we want to be truly honoring, then it needs to start in the heart--purpose to reject any negative or critical thoughts about your parents.
Jesus said 'he that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.'  In Exodus, we are told that "he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death." There are over 10 words for curse in the Bible and this usage is the least 'intense' of the other meanings for curse. It means to lightly esteem. God is serious about this! He is saying that even if we esteem them a little less than God expects, even if we are still pretty good, we are worthy of death!
God didn't just give us commands to ruin our lives, but actually to benefit us! God even said that obeying this specific command would cause things to go well with us! Who doesn't want that??!
"Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor thy father and thy mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth" (Ephesians 6:1-3).
I know that obeying and honoring our parents wishes can be the hardest, most confusing, humbling, trying, and frustrating times we will encounter. Sometimes it seems like they don't have a clue what they are talking about, but we still need to honor them and trust that God is working through them. 
I have many stories of how my parents commands seemed like utter madness, but I obeyed and things went well for me. I have told you about how my parent didn't want me to go to college right away and I have been exceedingly blessed by obeying them. I probably would not be composing this email right now if I did not obey.
Also, when I was in high school, I wanted to take an antibiotic for my acne. My dad said 'no' because he didn't want me to be filling my body with antibiotics continually. I knew that antibiotics were completely harmless and argued with him, but finally agreed I wouldn't. Now 10 years later I come to find out that continual use of antibiotics can be very harmful to your body in many ways! Praise the Lord!
Also, my dad wanted me to learn stick shift and I kept pushing it off, because well, stick shift is a pain to learn! He would ask me if I wanted to practice and I would say no. I finally decided that I would practice every week until I got the hang of it and what do you know? My car breaks down leaving us with only stick-shift cars! God is pretty clever.
These are just some things that don't seem that big, but by obeying, things went well for me.  I want to add a note here that Jesus was not talking to 10 year olds when He commanded this. He was speaking to the adult religous leaders of the day. Just because we have hit 18 or are married, does not mean that we are exempt from this command. If you want things to go well with you, you will honor your parents. Period.
Some ideas to honor your parents: pray for them, ask them for advice, give them gifts, praise them in public, introduce them to others, spend time with them in public, refuse negative thoughts about them, tell them why you are grateful for them, value their correction, and value them above your friends.
-What are five qualities that you can praise in each of your parents? (Why don't you tell them what you came up with?)
-What step can you take today to honor your parents more?
-Are there things that your parents want you to do (spoken and unspoken) that you still need to fulfill?
"Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy. Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father" (Leviticus 19:2-3).
(Notes adapted from IBLP Commands of Christ study guide and pocket guide)

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