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  • Shawn Thornton

God Takes Honoring Parents Seriously

Friday - October 30th

Scripture to Read Today: Proverbs 30:1-33


The eye that mocks a father,

that scorns an aged mother,

will be pecked out by

ravens of the valley,

will be eaten by the vultures.

Proverbs 30:17

During my years growing up in northern Indiana, my mother would regularly quote Scripture about obeying and honoring our parents when she felt I needed correction. Exodus 20:12 records the 6th commandment, which tells us we are to honor our father and mother so that our days may be long in the land. Ephesians 6:1-3 reiterates that thought when it says we are to obey our parents and indicates that this was the first of the 10 commandments to come along with a promise.

For most of my life, I have taken these verses very seriously. Even as I wrote my memoir, "All But Normal: Life on Victory Road," I truly wanted to honor both my mom and my dad. I knew I would be sharing stories from our home that didn't always put one or the other of them in a good light, but I still wanted to show respect for both of them. That was just the right thing to do. Many of my relatives commented that, while I shared some of my parents' shortcomings in the book, they thought it had been done in an honorable way. Getting that kind of feedback brought me great satisfaction.

It wasn't until I was in college that I came across Proverbs 30:17. It is a verse like no other regarding how seriously God takes the way we treat our parents. Frankly, it is startling to read such an abrupt, very clear, and somewhat gruesome description of what can happen to someone who dishonors their parents. Proverbs 30:17 says, "The eye that mocks a father, that scorns an aged mother, will be pecked out by ravens of the valley, will be eaten by vultures." That is pretty clear.

Most of the proverbs are principles of life rather than promises that will be true for every incidence of a specific type of behavior. Some might say that this verse doesn't ring true because they know of someone or had a period in their lives when they were very disrespectful, disobedient, and dishonoring toward their parents. The proverb principle stands as a direct warning to those who "mock their father and scorn their aged mother." Again, this does not mean that every son or daughter who disrespects their parents will have birds immediately swoop down and bring this specific judgment. It does, however, mean that God takes the honoring of our parents very seriously.

Maybe your parents did something or allowed something in your life that makes it very hard for you to show them the kind of honor the Scriptures demand. Young children should obey their parents, and as we age, the requirement of obedience moves to a posture of honoring. Parents who may try to drag you into the drama of their lives, disrupt your home, or for a myriad of other reasons might make it hard for you to honor them, deserve at least the acknowledgment that they are your parents. In whatever ways we possibly can, we should find ways to honor them.

How about you? Are you known for the respect and honor you give to your parents? If your parents have already stepped into eternity, how you talk about them to others is a great way to honor them. You don't have to agree with how they raised you, how they lived their lives, or how they have related to you as an adult. But we should find ways and use language that reflects God's call to honor our parents.

We should all heed the graphic warnings of God as we relate to, and show respect for our parents.


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