Honor your parents by forgiving them for wrongs

We have been looking at what the Bible says about honoring our father and our mother. As a child, I am to honor my parents by obedience and by showing them respect. As a young adult, we honor our parents by accepting and appreciating them.

We accept and appreciate our parents when we listen to what they have to say. When we’re out on our own, we’re not bound by their advice like we are as young children, but we should still listen to them. Proverbs 23:22 says we are to “Listen to our father, who gave us life…”

Forgiveness is a second way to show acceptance. It is a fact of life that we often hurt those we love the most. It happens intentionally and unintentionally. Most of us have hurt or have been hurt by the people we love. Effective families have learned how to forgive.

The Bible tells us plainly to honor our parents. It doesn’t say honor your parents if, in your opinion, they did a good job of parenting. It doesn’t say honor your parents if they were always present. It simply says honor your parents…period.

Today, it’s not popular to honor our parents. Instead, so many would rather blame their parents for all of their problems. Don’t let yourself go there. Be thankful for the good things the Lord has provided for you and your family through your mom and dad. That may be very little in some cases, but I hope you will find the good and focus on it.

Be careful to avoid bitterness. Bitterness is such a destructive force in our lives. It always hurts you more than the person you’re bitter toward. If you’re still hurting and being resentful and bitter over things your parents did or did not do in the past, in some ways, you’re still allowing them to control your life today.

Maybe your parents failed you completely. You can still choose to honor them as your parents. They weren’t perfect, but neither are you (as a person or as a parent). They did some things wrong. So have you and I, but we can choose to accept the facts and still honor the people that God has chosen to bring us into the world.

God can take away the hurt you may feel and turn it around and bring good from it if you choose to respond in the right way. You honor your parents when you forgive them for what they did wrong and you choose to focus on what they did right.

You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at steve@gotothepoint.com.