Respect is not a two-way street.
Respect. Everyone wants it. Everyone thinks they deserve it. Everyone demands it. But very few actually give it.
I think I hear it more from teenagers than anyone else. In their quest to become “adults” they demand respect from their peers, their significant others, their siblings, their teachers, their teammates, and even their parents.
And more often than not, the ranting demand for respect starts off with an attitude smothered with bad-mouthing the parentals.
Um, you’re 12. and you’re wondering why your parents don’t respect you…?
Are you respecting them? If the above quote is any indication of your “respect” for them, then it’s no wonder at all.
The Bible doesn’t tell children to honor their parents, then turn around and tell parents to return the favor. Respect is not a two-way street when it comes to children and their parents. It’s a one-way street where the children do the walking, and end up down the right path in the end.
When I was younger I found it very difficult to honor my parents – not because they made it impossible for me, but because I had an issue with any and all authority in my life. I didn’t like being told what to do. I didn’t like rules, standards, or anything else that restricted my choices.
I liked the outcome of following rules because I liked not being in trouble. But during the daily battle, I always seemed to think breaking the rules was more fun. I couldn’t see the big picture; I couldn’t see what the end of the day held; I couldn’t see my life 5 or 10 years down the road.
In the heat of the moment, honoring your mom and dad sometimes seems like a pointless rule to follow – especially if you feel they don’t “deserve” to be honored or respected. But God thought it important enough to include it in the Ten Commandments. And if God commands it, then you know there’s a good reason for it.
A few of those good reasons are as follows:
- you’ll live a long life
- it will go well with you
- you won’t be cursed or killed
- it’s the first commandment with promise
I happen to like all of those reasons. So what if my parents don’t respect me like I think I deserve to be — they’re my parents. They don’t have to respect me – they’re my authority, not the other way around.
I am 23 years old, and I still respect my parents. There are certain things I don’t say to them out of respect. My mom is in her 60’s, and she still treats her mother with the utmost respect. The rule doesn’t lessen or change with a persons age, nor should we expect it to – because it was commanded by a God Who never changes.
“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” ~ Ex. 20:12
“Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” ~ Deut. 5:16
“For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.” ~ Matt. 15:4
“Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” ~ Matt. 19:19
“For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:” ~ Mark 7:10
“Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.” ~ Mark 10:19
“Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.” ~ Luke 18:20
“Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)” ~ Eph. 6:2
Perhaps the real problem with kids today is that they didn’t get enough of this in their lifetime…
…mehhh, it was just a thought. ;]