The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Parents



Treat Them with Respect


My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

Proverbs 6:20


The eye that mocks a father, that scorns obedience to a moth­er, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures.

Proverbs 30:17


The fifth commandment says, “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12). For too long we have relegated this commandment to young children and sometimes even used it as a club over their heads. But God never intended that this commandment be aimed pri­marily at young children. This commandment is primarily for grown-up children. It is God’s way of telling us how to treat our parents!

But how can we honor our parents when we no longer live under their authority? First, by speaking well of them. Sometimes I hear adults saying terribly disrespect­ful things about their parents. They speak with bitterness and anger over things that happened many years ago. That raises a question: How do you speak well of people who hurt you deeply? Here I think we’re left with some ad­vice we all learned as children. “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.” Speak well of your parents if you can; if you can’t, refuse to speak evil of them.

Second, by obeying them. This sounds odd to our modern way of thinking. For many people the whole point of moving away from home is so that you won’t have to obey your parents anymore. Most of us have heard it said that while you don’t have to obey your par­ents, you always have to honor them. That’s true enough, but it doesn’t grasp the full biblical implication of the fifth commandment. In God’s eyes we are forever chil­dren, always under obligation to honor and-as far as possible-to obey our parents.

Third, we honor our parents by forgiving them. Here we come to the heart of the problem for many people. How do you honor parents who have hurt and abused you? By choosing to forgive the unforgivable. We must not use the hurts of the past as an excuse to evade this com­mandment. Think of it this way: If we do not forgive our parents, we may repeat their mistakes with our own chil­dren.

Fourth, by not forsaking them. At this point we have the example of Jesus who, while hanging on the cross, took time to remember His aging mother. To His mother He said, “Dear woman, here is your son.” To John He said, “Here is your mother” (see John 19:26-27). While dying for the sins of the world, He took time to keep the fifth commandment!

D. L. Moody said, “I have lived over sixty years, and I have learned one thing if I have learned nothing else-no man or woman who dishonors his father or mother ever prospers.”

This commandment is the one that helps you obey all the rest. The first place you can show the reality of your religion is at home. To say it another way, religion that doesn’t begin at home doesn’t begin at all.


Lord God, if I would call You heavenly Father, I must learn to honor my earthly father and mother. Show me what that means. Amen.


Do you find it easy to honor your parents? Why or why not?

Which of the four steps listed above is most difficult for you? Name one way you could honor your parents to­day.


Want instant access to all 100 daily devotionals? The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon is available in ebook format for the Kindle, Nook, or Ipad. Purchase your copy here! 

Latest blog posts

Good Words for Today: May 30
Saturday, May 30


The Anchor Project
Explaining the Gospel in “Walmart English”

Anchor is a “gospel book” that explains the Good News in a simple and persuasive manner. Read the latest on “The Anchor Project” and how you can be support our work.

Read More
Keep Believing China
Partnering with Chinese pastors and churches

We want to join together with pastors and Christian workers to equip the church in China, broadcasting translated sermons, providing ministry resources for Christians and pastors in China.

Read More

Weekly sermon email
Subscribe for free

Subscribe to the weekly sermon from Keep Believing Ministries. Sign up for our emails and use it to grow in your faith as well as to encourage others.


KBM Podcasts
Weekly audio sermons

Welcome to Keep Believing Ministries’ audio/podcast library. Listen to or download a digital audio version of one of these messages or receive them via our podcast and feed.

Read More

Ebook: Lord of Glory

The Bible contains many names of Christ. His names tell us who he is. His names tell us why he came. His names tell us how he can help us. His names tell us why we worship him. In this devotional series you'll learn of these varied and meaning behind the names, titles and descriptions of Christ.

“Equipping and encouraging people to keep believing in Jesus”

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”