Friday, March 7, 2008

Honor your father and mother

Devotional for Kids

“Children, obey your parents; this is the right thing to do because God has placed them in authority over you.
“Honor your father and mother. This is the first of God’s Ten Commandments that ends with a promise.
“And this is the promise: that if you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life, full of blessing.” Ephesians 6: verses 1, 2 and 3 [The Living Bible]

God doesn’t just suggest that children honor their parents. He commands it. This is one of the Ten Commandments which He gave to the Israelites years ago, but which He still wants us to do.

I’m sure sometimes you do not want to obey your mom or dad. But God has placed them in authority over you. That means they’re the boss. God has placed them in charge of you because it’s their job to teach you. In obeying them you learn respect for others, you learn responsibility; you learn life skills, etc. They teach you how to live.

God also wants us to honor our parents. He wants us to show them respect – to value them. He wants us to have a good attitude toward them. The best time to start developing this right attitude toward your mom and dad is right now.

You can think of your parents as your coach. When you play hockey you listen to your coach very carefully. He knows all the rules and all the plays. You don’t want to mess up and loss the game. Listening to him helps you win the game. It’s the same with your parents. Listening to them helps you win the game of life, especially honoring God.

It’s important that if there are things that really bother you about how your parents treat you that you tell them. Sometimes we parents and grandparents don’t realize how we come across to you. Sometimes it’s not what we ask of you that bug you, but how we ask you. I hope you have a good relationship with your mom and dad so you can talk to them about these things.

The Bible tells us of a son who did not honor his father and the awful price he paid for it. I’m thinking of Prince Absalom, King David’s son.

Prince Absalom really wanted to be king. And he did not want to wait until his father died to become king. He planned to deceive his dad and steal the kingdom away from him.

He began by acting very friendly to the people. He did kind things for them. He was very handsome and people were attracted to him. His father, King David, had no idea what his son was up to.

One day Absalom asked King David for permission to go to Hebron to worship God. Of course, his father was very happy that Absalom wanted to go worship God, so he said yes. But Absalom was not going to Hebron to worship God. He was going to Hebron to meet with the people who supported him and to become their king.

Some of King David’s faithful servants informed him of the rebellion Absalom was starting in Hebron. Then King David had to flee from Jerusalem so Absalom and his men wouldn’t kill him. How sad he must have been that his own son whom he loved so much was coming against him.

Absalom rode with his men to try and capture King David. Many of Absalom’s men were killed. As Absalom was trying to escape, his hair caught on the low boughs of a tree and his mule ran away. He was left hanging there.

King David had given strict orders to his soldiers to not hurt his son in any way. But the captain of his army didn’t listen, and killed him. When King David heard that his son, Prince Absalom was dead, he was very sad. He loved his son even though he was in rebellion to him.

But now King David and his kingdom were safe. God protected King David because God had put him on the throne. You can read about Prince Absalom and King David in 2 Samuel chapters 15 to 19.

Just like God put David in charge of Israel and he was responsible for them, so God has put your dad and mom in charge of you and your siblings. God has entrusted you to their care. They are responsible to God for how they develop you.

The Bible also tells us of another Son. This Son was always obedient to His Father and always honored Him. He was obedient even to going to the cross. And because He did, God His Father honored him. He shared His Kingdom with Jesus. Today Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God.

Memory verse for this week:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1: verse 9 [NKJV]


Going deeper as parents:

We’re not off the hook because we are adults. God still commands that we honor our parents. That doesn’t mean they call the shots in our life but we need to venerate them.

Jesus refers to this commandment in Matthew chapter 15 verse 3. He says, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother;’ Jesus is talking about adults here.

He is reprimanding the scribes and Pharisees for encouraging the people to not care for their parents. In verse 5 he goes on to say, “But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”- then he need not honor his father or mother.’

Let me quote a footnote from the Nelson Study Bible, NKJV: “Jesus was referring to a practice whereby people would dedicate their possessions to God so that they could use their finances for themselves and not for others. For example, if parents needed money, the children could excuse themselves form helping because their resources were already “dedicated” to God. This ruse kept people from honoring their parents by taking care of them in their old age.”

In our culture we have pensions for our retired parents, but we still need to be there for them and help them in ways we can. God still holds out His promise to us, “And this is the promise: that if you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life, full of blessing.” Ephesians 6: verse 3 [The Living Bible]

Ruth Willms

Author: The Lion Tree

Want to know more about how God can help you every day? Check out my new book The Lion Tree at

Look for my new unpublished story, An Anniversary Surprise, at

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