Honor thy father and mother
June 21, 2011
We are just a few days past Father’s Day, the day we have set aside to honor our dads. I’m glad we have days like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, because it reminds us that we have been honoring them every day; at least we should be. Many of you reading these words may have already experienced the pain and heartache of seeing one or both of your parents pass. I still have my mom and I try to talk to her frequently. She lives eleven hundred miles away, so visits are few, but I honor her none the less. The Scriptures teach us in the fifth commandment, Exodus 20:12, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” What does it mean to honor them, and how long is this honoring to be carried out? The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary defines the word honor as, “The rendering of several Heb. and Gk. words, meaning: (1) respect paid to superiors, such as to God (John 5:23; Rev. 5:12); to parents and kings, including submission and service…”
Respect! Submission! Service! When it comes to your relationship with your parents, are these three words reality, or just trite, old-fashioned memories of how it used to be? To best understand how to honor one’s parents, perhaps I should answer the last part of my question first: how long is this honoring to be carried out? My first teacher of theology was my own dad, Howard Cooper. Dad said that verse meant we were not to honor our parents as long as they lived, but as long as we live. My dad is gone now, but I still am under Biblical mandate to honor him; to respect him, to submit to his teaching, and to serve him. I could plumb the depths of this topic, but time and space does not allow it. However, let me say that the rules, ideals, and core values of a wise and Godly parent must be followed all the days of your life. There are two kinds of truth taught in Scripture: timeless, and time bound. Time bound truth is truth for a particular time or place. An example of time bound truth would be the civil law of ancient Israel. The law in Israel then is not the law in Israel now. If you ever visit Israel, you are bound by current law, not past law.
Timeless truth is truth that was true when God spoke it, is true right now, and will be true on into the eternal future. “Honour thy father and thy mother…” is an example of a timeless truth. Mark 1:15 is another example of a timeless truth, “…The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel..” How are you handling timeless truth? How are you honoring your father and your mother? If they are gone and you seem stuck for an answer just remember the three words. Respect! Submission! Service! Scriptures require nothing less.
Victor Cooper is Pastor at the Friendship Harmony Baptist Church which meets every Sunday Morning at 10 a.m. at the Flamingo Bay Clubhouse on the corner of Stringfellow Rd. and Curlew Ave. Pastor Cooper can be reached by calling 239.283.8331, by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.preachercooper.com.
How can we as a Church help you? We want to be involved in the lives of our community, and do what we can. Do you need someone to take you shopping or into town for appointments? Do you need someone to run some errands for you? Is there some housework or minor home repairs we can help with? Perhaps you would like for someone to simply stop by and sit and visit for a while. The Friendship Harmony Baptist Church is here for you. Our first name says it all: Friendship. That is what we offer to you. You do not have to be a member here, nor do you need to attend our services to receive friendship from us. Do you need help preparing meals. If we can help you with any thing, call me, Pastor Vic at 283-8331. We are here for you 24/7/365.