The Fifth Commandment instructs us to “honor” our parents. That’s easy when we have a loving and supportive mother and father. What about those who are dishonorable? How can you honor someone like that? If you are struggling to honor a parent or person in authority, draw your motivation more from your love for God than your love for them. We live in a fallen world and too often we experience pain from others who intentionally or unintentionally hurt us. In defense we pull back to protect our hearts and are tempted to dishonor those that God commands us to honor. People can be unlovely. That’s why Jesus gave Peter the secret to successful ministry when He restored him on the shores of Galilee in John 21. It’s the same secret for honoring others even when they may act dishonorably. Jesus asked Peter, “Peter, do you love Me?” Peter said, “Yes, Lord. I love you.” Then Jesus said, “Feed My sheep.” Notice that Jesus didn’t ask Peter if he loved sheep. After all Peter was a fisherman and not a shepherd. He may not have even liked those smelly, not-so-smart creatures. He asked Peter if he loved Him. That’s critical for the success of fulfilling anything that God commands us to do.
It’s not the measure of our love for others or there loveliness but our love for Christ that will enable us to do what He says. In what ways can you show honor to your parents today regardless of their age or yours? One practical way is to express to them at least one thing about them for which you honor. It could just change the trajectory of your relationship.