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Honor Your Parents

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

I was watching an old television show last night. It was a sitcom from the 1980s. One of the characters, Dan, is a New York lawyer who is sarcastic, self-seeking, and often condescending to those who have a different social status than himself. The episode I watched was about meeting his parents from a small parish in Louisiana. The term "country bumpkins" came to mind. Dan was so ashamed of his humble background, he had changed his name and told everyone his parents were dead. He was unhappy with their unannounced arrival at his workplace. The episode ended with Dan telling his parents that he appreciated their support of his dreams. They had sacrificed much of what they had so that their son could go to college. They sold most of their possessions, and they continued to work on their farm that produced nothing for forty years. Dan worked hard to get scholarships and worked other odd jobs while a student. He was now a successful prosecuting attorney.

There were plenty of laughs in this episode (it was an '80s show, after all), but it also had a great point. Although having humble beginnings, Dan's parents' sacrifices allowed him to have more opportunities. Of the Ten Commandments, first found in Exodus 20, the fifth commandment says to honor your mother and father. This does not have to mean that you follow in their footsteps. Not everyone had parents who were model citizens. Not everyone has parents. Everyone can have God be their Father, though. You can honor your parents by honoring God.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Exodus 20: 12 (English Standard Version)

12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me[e] anything in my name, I will do it.

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

John 14:12-17 (English Standard Version)

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