Honor Your Father and Your Mother

By Crossmap Reporter

Even at the early age of twelve, Jesus knew Who He was. But even though He was fully aware that He was God's only begotten Son, He honored His earthly parents' wishes and returned with them to Nazareth, placing Himself under heir roof and under their authority for the next 18 years. Even though He was God incarnate, He did not reject His earthly parents, but rather honored them in demonstration of how all earthly children should treat their parents.

Jesus' honoring of His mother is further illustrated when He was thirty and attended a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Jesus respected His mother so much, He acquiesced to her wishes and performed His first miracle, turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). And at the end of His earthly life, one of His final acts was to make sure that His mother would be cared for. He knew that His siblings didn't believe in Him (yet!), and He knew what a difficult life it would be for Mary if she had to live with an unbelieving child. So Jesus placed her in the care of John, His beloved disciple (John 19:26-27).

If the Son of God did not shirk His responsibilities to His earthly family, no less should we shirk ours. In fact, as we grow closer and closer to our Lord, it should inspire us to be even more aware of and responsible for our earthly families. God created the family. It is His most prized institution. He caused men to spend many hours recording the ways in which a family should interact, what the varied responsibilities are within a family, and just how a Christian family differs from others. If we are God's people, the most important thing in our lives - next to our relationship with the Lord - is our relationship with our family.

But there is one caveat. At times, there are situations where families fall apart. specifically when one person is saved, and the rest are not. Jesus predicted this in Matthew 10:34-40:

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn

" 'a man against his father,

a daughter against her mother,

a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -

a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

When this kind of situation occurs, a person cannot always have the kind of closeness and interaction we mentioned above with his family. especially when things happen like unbelieving parents demanding that a Christian stay away from the Bible or church or Christian friends. How does a Christian handle that, and still follow Jesus' commandment to "honor your father and your mother"? Quite simply, it's by living a life that is pleasing to the Lord. A person who does that - no matter how "rocky" his relationship with his parents - he is obeying God in regard to his parents.

If all of God's people would do the things we talked about here, acting on them in faith and obedience to the principles God has established, we might really begin to see a healing of many of the things that are wrong with this world. Think about it.