What does it mean to honor your father and mother?
I was recently invited to contribute a guest column for the magazine Presbyterian Outlook. I decided to write about one of the Ten Commandments: the often misunderstood call to honor your father and mother. What does it mean to honor our parents?
If you’ve been here often it won’t surprise you to find that I did this in conversation with the Heidelberg Catechism, the much-loved and widely-used 450 year old summary of biblical Christianity.
Here’s how it starts:
When Moses came down from the mountain, he brought with him some excellent advice. It has proved hard to apply. It goes against habit and apparent self-interest. Still, it is worth a listen.
Here is one countercultural bit:
“Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).
A pair of American secular holidays would seem to remind us of this priority. Historically, we in the Reformed tradition try to apply it year round, and much more broadly. (To read more, click here…)
(This piece appeared in the Outlook’s regular “Benedictory” series, which is usually only available online for paid subscribers. They kindly opened this one up so I could let you see it. I hope you’ll consider subscribing to get more of their great content!)
I’d love to hear from you in the comments! What do you think of as good ways to honor your parents? What makes it a challenge in today’s world?