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Honour your Father and Mother (4 of 12)

Mike Connell

Page 4 of 10
Now, we tend to value people differently. If we think they’ve done good things, we think that’s good. If they disappoint us, we tend to judge them – “I don’t like.” If they fail in their character, we judge them – “I don’t like”. If we think that they’re not fulfilling their office or role well, “I don’t like”. So, we have opinions about people and we judge people according to how they behave.

So let’s have a look then at dishonour. One of the reasons people dishonour their parents is because of familiarity. We’re so close to them, that we see not only the good, we see the bad. We not only see the good qualities, we see their brokenness. We see their impatience or their anger. We see everything. So, because of what we see, we make judgements against our parents. “He didn’t do what I expected. He did what I didn’t expect”. And we become hurt in the heart. When people are hurt, they harbour anger. Anger is a demand – “You owe me.”

Now, in many families, there are real problems. Some of you will come from a family where your father betrayed your mother, betrayed his marriage vows, betrayed all of the family and he left his wife. So, you are left with this huge emotional turmoil and anger because of the break-up of the family.

One of your parents may be very angry – may have beaten you; may have abused you; may have abandoned you; may have rejected you. Many of you will have very painful experiences. Here’s the lesson to learn – you’re not responsible for what someone else did, but you have power to choose how you will respond. You have power to choose what you will do. You can choose to judge and despise and dishonour. Or you can choose to forgive and honour. This is your choice. You have power to make that choice.

All of you have made that choice, and will continue to do so depending on what is in your heart. If there’s anger and grief and bitterness and disappointment, you will despise one or other of your parents, judge them, and then you’ll dishonour them in various ways. Honour is an issue of the heart.

It helps if you understand this – God doesn’t ask you to honour your parents because they’re great parents. He asks you to honour them as a gift to them. They gave you the gift of life, and your response is to give honour and value to them.

So God makes this particular promise – if you give honour to your parents, regardless of how they conduct themselves, regardless whether they were good or not good parents, if you’ll make a decision to keep a heart of honour and honour them, you’ll live long and life will go well. If because you’ve been hurt by them, because they’ve done things that were very hurtful to you, and you harbour anger and resentment and bitterness, you harbour judgements against them, then life will not go well for you.

I have heard many young people say something like this: “I’ll never be like my father.” That tells us they’re bitter and they’ve judged their father. You can’t imagine the number of times I’ve found they’re doing the same thing their father did. They’ve literally become like them. It’s like he’s been recreated again.

Or someone says: “I’ll never be like my mother.” I hear someone say that, I said: “Give it time, you’ll be just like her. One day, you’ll hear yourself shouting like she shouted, yelling and scolding like she scolded, and all the things you hated so much, all the things you said you’d never do that – “When I’m a mother I will never do that!” One day you’ll find yourself doing just that. “How did I get here? How did I get to this place? I remember it hurt me so much, I think “I’ll never do that.” Now, I look in the mirror, I’ve just become like her. How did that happen?” Because you never resolved the issues of the heart. The judgements you formed against your parents led to despising of them, and this has led to a cycle of problems in your life.