Last Updated on March 11, 2024

During my lifetime it has been easy to breeze past the commandment to honor my mother and father. I admit, at times, the commandment may have even been met with a roll of the eyes.

[verse reference=”Deuteronomy 5:16″]Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and so that you may prosper in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
(emphasis added)[/verse]

Recently, during a visit from my mother and grandmother I saw the true value in this verse. For the first time I read the entire verse, and read it with a new perspective.

Sure, through the years I had done what I thought was right in honoring my father and mother, and other elders in my life. Learning how to honor them now, as they mature in age looks different from when we were all younger.

Hearing the same stories repeatedly in one setting, answering the same questions in the span of a day could potentially move me far away from honor.

I have to examine my thoughts and actions toward my father and mother. I am an adult. I have my own family and way of living my life apart from them, but I realize that there are no contingencies in the command.

The part of the commandment, “so that you may live long…” keeps resonating within me.

This is for all the days of my life, and as far as I’m concerned, I’d like to live longer!

What does honor look like? Each of us may be doing some things really well. Some things we may fail in miserably.

Here are some ways I think will qualify in the way we honor, and serve, our parents.


  • Accept them. There may be those traits that they have that don’t set too well with us, but those things are not for us to try to change.
  • Do unto them as you’d have your children do unto you. 
  • Offer a helping hand. Or even work alongside them. There’s still so much that they can teach us. I hope that my children and grandchildren would desire to be close to me.
  • Don’t immediately dismiss what they have to say. Wisdom is like gold. We may not agree with everything that comes from them, but I’m learning that there may be a nugget to grasp from what they share. If it doesn’t apply or speak truth of/to you, shelf it.
  • Pray for them. I reaped the benefits of prayer from them over the years. As I age, I see the needs that they have spiritually and physically. They need strength and wisdom from God too.

The above is a small list of ways that we can honor our father and mother well.

Yes, there are often strains and strife in relationships between children and parents. Even when it is necessary to establish healthy boundaries, there is still the command to honor your parents. Let’s do our very best to do just that!

We may have to see them as our neighbor as in the very words of Jesus;

[verse reference=”Mark 12:31″]”Love your neighbor as yourself.”[/verse]

Delight in the fact that doing that with our parents brings a promise beyond just love, but also long life!