Honor Your Father and Your Mother

  God is not pleased with parents who abuse their children or abdicate their responsibilities as parents. However, the Fifth Commandment comes without qualification. It requires us to honor, that is respect, our parents whether we subjectively deem them good or bad parents, or whether by sociocultural standards they were, in fact, good or bad parents.

  The question then becomes, How do we honor them? The answer is, in much the same way we respect the office of the President without necessarily agreeing with his past conduct or even his present policies, we honor and respect the office of parenthood. When we honor our parents without judging their parental qualifications, we honor God's decision for allowing them to be our parents. Conversely, if we fail or refuse to honor and respect our parents, we are disrespecting and dishonoring God's parenting decision for our lives.

  The law of sowing and reaping applies to every area of our lives beginning with our attitudes toward our parents. In failing to honor our parents, we are passing judgment on them and sowing seeds of retribution that are reserved for God alone. Those seeds will produce a harvest of reciprocity, and we will become what we judge.

  The laws of God are immutable, but forgiveness frees us from the legalities the past and allows us to escape the inevitable reaping of a bad harvest in our own parenting.