14 day plan

The Kids are All Right

Day 10 of 14


Exodus 20:12

Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

Reflection:  Yesterday, we looked at the well-known “go forth and have kids” passage in Genesis 1. Today, kids, it is “honour your parents” time. Of course, we could debate the extent to which the Ten Commandments fully apply to the children of God today. But put that aside and simply note how the fifth commandment is an explicit edict to give honour to your dad and mum. Seems a straightforward principle for harmonious home life, right? Until you start applying it to different stages of life or, even harder, to dysfunctional parent-child relationships. As you puzzle over the difficulties, take a moment to notice how this commandment has no age limit. I am intrigued and challenged by that. Even though I am 44, and have two daughters, my father and mother remain my father and mother. So, on a straight reading of Exodus 20:12, I think God is exhorting me to honour them. What that looks like has changed and will continue to, as we age – I mean, develop as separate people. But it always gets me that the fifth commandment does not tell me that my time as a child giving honour has come to an end.

Question:  As a child of God, why might you seek to honour your father and mother?

Prayer:  Dear God of glory, you know what my relationship is like with my mum and dad. Give me the love, peace, forgiveness, and humility to honour them, even if there are times when I feel like not doing that. Amen.