We cannot ignore the impact of social influencers in our world today. With massive visibility on the social media, their voices often drown that of preachers and confuse Christians when they touch on areas where people are not well enlightened. I feel compelled to deal with the above subject today.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.””
Ephesians 6:1-3 NKJV
Paul the apostle reiterated a commandment of the law to honour our parents. The beginning of the honour itself is obeying parents. As long as we are under their authority, we are to obey their instructions. This is to continue even after leaving the home except where it is tantamount to a violation of their boundaries or lack of recognition of the authority of our spouses in our lives. Honour is also reverence. Parents, regardless of our status in life should be treated with reverence as life sources. We owe our lives to God and to them as the channels through which we came into the world. To honour is to value and we are to treat them with a great esteem as God’s representatives in our lives.
Under the law of Moses, insulting, cursing or physically abusing parents was punished with stoning to death. It was preposterous in the eye of the law that anyone would do that. Capital punishment demonstrated the weight of the offence in the sight of God. On the contrary, honouring parents attracted the blessings of well-being (including health, success and prosperity) and longevity. As life is imparted through parents at conception and birth, it does appear a spiritual connection is maintained between the parents and their children that ensures a continuous flow of life through their words, actions and fellowship. The two-way traffic of honour and blessing looks like a spiritual transaction.
This leads me to the story of Isaac and his two sons, namely, Esau and Jacob. When Isaac was close to death, he asked Esau to go hunt for a game and make a savoury meal such as he loves, so his soul could bless him(Genesis 27:4). He was asking Esau to honour him with a gift. Proverbs 3:9 admonishes us to honour the Lord with our substance. As it is with God who owns the earth and it’s fullness (Psalm 24:1), so also was it with Isaac that he lacked nothing as a blessed and prosperous man. With the conspiracy between Rebekah and Jacob leading to the blessing being given to Jacob instead of Esau, it is worthy of note that Isaac was fed with a meal from his own possessions at home. The request that Esau should bring the gift was not out of need but out of principle. Whether parents have needs or not is inconsequential to the principle of honour.
In the same vein as discussed above, ministers of the gospel are to be honoured according to several portions of the epistles of Paul to the gentile churches. To the Corinthians, Paul made it clear that it is not a great thing for he and Barnabas to reap the material things of the Corinthians for sowing spiritual things to them (1 Corinthians 9:11). To the Galatians he demanded that those who are taught the word should communicate to their teachers in all good things (Galatians 6:6). Elders that rule well in the church were to be worthy of double honour which is clearly double wages. This honour of men of God is a reward for their labour. It is regardless of their personal wealth.
The promises of the Bible are also evident that rewards for honouring life sources are abundant. It will well with those who honour parents and long life is theirs. Those who honour the Lord would reap abundance. Those who sow will reap whatever they sow (Galatians 6:7). Monetary and material gifts as the case may be should be part of our acts of honour and they will attract God’s blessings. Where parents are needy, they are our absolute responsibilities as we were in infancy. Where parents have no material needs, we should buy them gifts in kind, especially such as please them, so their souls can bless us continually. It is scriptural and must be taken seriously. He who honours his life sources, honours his God.