Honour Thy Father And Thy Mother


By Sister Denise Rossignol

                What does it mean to honor your father and mother?  This was a very big stumbling block in my healing process.  “Honor your Father and Mother” was one of the only scriptures I remember being taught as a child.  And as an adult, if I got out of line in some way, I was told, “How can you call yourself a Christian when you don’t honor your parents?”  But the meaning of this scripture, as my parents taught me, was not scriptural.


                Their definition of “honor” was to do everything they said to do without question, serve them, endure their abuse, and put them before anyone or anything else.  I was told repeatedly, even as an adult, “Your mother should always come first in your life, she was the one who gave birth to you.”  I lived by their definition for many years.



     As I drew close to the Lord, there became this great conflict in my life and I didn’t even realize it.  After spending time in prayer, the Lord showed me I was not honoring my parents, I was worshiping them.  God is so good!  He walked me through this step-by-step. 


     First off, there is no one else that I should put before Him, including my mother.  God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5).  I am the Lord your God.  You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:2-3NKJV).  I had put my parents before everyone for years, mostly to avoid conflict with them, but also to “honor” them.


     The Lord also showed me a few other things I needed to change.  First, I was supposed to be submitting to my husband (1Peter 3:5-6).  But instead, I would submit more to my parents.  When I first started submitting to my husband’s wishes instead of my parents, it created conflict with my parents. 


     Another area of my life that was affected with this theory of “honoring them above all” was my relationship with my children.  But God tells us to be more concerned with loving our children (Titus 2:4) than with parents’ feelings. 


     After the Lord taught me these things, it wasn’t long before I was put to the test.  My daughter’s birthday was right around the corner.  And because we didn’t have much money, we continued the tradition my mother-in-law had started when my husband was a child.  Each child would choose what they wanted for dinner and I would prepare it for them.  On every birthday, we would invite my parents for dinner.  But this year, money was very tight, and my daughter wanted steak and fries.  So my choice was to tell my daughter to pick something else because we couldn’t afford steak for grandma and grandpa too, or to just invite my parents for dessert.  I chose to put my daughter’s birthday dinner wishes first and just invited my parents for dessert.  This created a war with my parents.  But I had the peace of God with me.  I was doing as He taught me.  Not long after this, my parents stopped speaking to me for over a year.  But nothing was going to stop me from pleasing God.




     So how do you honor your parents?  Let me give you a few examples.  If your parents ruin every holiday, or, like my mother, make a mountain out of Mother’s Day, do what you feel comfortable doing without allowing them to ruin your day.  I started by limiting my time with them on holidays.  No more all-day holiday events.  The Lord also showed me ways to honor my mother on the annual dreaded Mother’s Day event.  Honoring my mother was as simple as bringing her a card or some flowers or spending an hour with her.  Of course, this was not acceptable to my mother.  But it was acceptable to my God.



     Also, honoring could be as simple as just sending a card to let your parent know you are thinking of them.



     We just need to learn God’s meaning of “honoring” our parents, without compromise.  For me, it was time to end the control of being forced into showing love and to begin doing things from my heart.  I believe that is true honor.