Read Exodus 20:12
12 Honour your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you. (NLT)
“The world is passing through troubled times. Young people think only of themselves, having no respect for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint, they talk as if they know everything, and treat older people’s wisdom as stupidity.”
Words from a sermon preached by Peter the Hermit all the way back in 1274! It seems that the relationships between parents and children have always been a bit strained. The commandment to honour parents is spoken into a world where such a thing does not always happen. To honour means to treat as weighty, to respect.
God treasures families and has built authority structures into the world. So there is to be order in families. Children raised with no respect for authority in the home become precocious self-centred adults who think the world owes them a living, and show contempt for any other sort of authority.
While children are to honour parents at all times, the expression of that honour will vary. Obedience might be appropriate at an early stage but not as the child grows to adulthood. Honouring may mean caring sacrificially for aged parents just as they once sacrificially cared for you.
But we dare not reflect on this command without recognising that later Scriptures also place some responsibilities on parents. While children are to respect their parents, those same parents are to show themselves worthy of respect. When all this happens, families become what they are meant to be and in turn, the wider human family reaps the benefits.