Honor your father and your mother (Deuteronomy 5:16)
This may be a strange concept for us these days… ever since the 60’s (or probably even before that) we have developed a healthy and socially acceptable rebellion against mom and dad. Truly, modern generations in the US, it seems, have defined themselves by opposing the previous generation.
But, in ancient times it wasn’t like that. There is a deep history in the Jewish and Christian faith that God’s truth, the life of faith, and ‘a good name’ are things that are ‘handed down’ from one generation to the next. If parents did their job right… kids would be brought up in the right way to go, and in the process, bring honor and respect to the family while bringing honor and respect to God.
We just don’t seem to think like that anymore. And we have some good reasons for that: not all of our parents were ‘good’ role models. In fact, we may have been mistreated really bad by them. I guess it was probably the same back then. So, what do we do with command 5… ‘honor your mother and father’.
I think we can all identify a person who was ‘like’ a mother or father to us… if our own parent s were not. Such folks are defined by their care and concern, their love and attention, their teaching and preparing. Without them, we would be less that who we are right now. In that spirit… let’s honor them. Let’s do for someone else what they did for us. Let’s try to make the next generation better.
Honor is not simply being thankful for the past generation, but being ready, willing and able to be a ‘force for good’ for the next generation. We can be the ‘force’ for God’s love and purpose today… for those who come tomorrow.