Carey Madding 

Today's Scripture: “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” Colossians 3:20, ESV 

Theme: Honor your parents because it pleases God and teaches us to honor Him. 


We think of “honoring our parents” as being an act for children and teens. Yes, it should start there – with respectful responses and immediate, cheerful obedience. That is hard and gets harder as we age. You may be thinking of teenage eye rolls and outright defiance. Can you believe it gets harder than that?  

My parents were strict. They did not allow “sass.” If my name was called, I was to come to them, not holler from my bedroom. “What?” was not an acceptable reply. “Yes, ma’am?” was the question I was to ask as I presented myself for duty (or that’s how I saw it!). I didn’t get away with misbehaving as a teen, either. Their control over my goings and comings seemed absolute. Yet, I know that is not true. I could have snuck out and done what I wanted. There would have been consequences, but probably survivable. I did not rebel both because of the love I had for them and the fear of punishment. It was a choice to honor and obey.  


As we grow, move out of the house, maybe marry and start our own families, it seems easier to just ignore or ridicule our parents. We do need to do what’s best for our family, but not to dishonor our parents. What if they are butting in? Be gentle and go about the path God has for you. What if they are wrong? Share your opinion in a kind and respectful way. Drop it if you cannot discuss it reasonably with them. What if they are abusive? Set boundaries. But don’t bad-mouth them to others.  

My parents are both gone now. It’s easy to see what a blessing they were in my life. Yet I find that when I get with my siblings, we laugh about things they did and how we were raised. It’s a fine line between remembering and laughing... and ridiculing. Even now, I don’t want to dishonor them or their memory.  


In His infinite wisdom, God places us in families and under authority. This is for our protection, but it is also to teach us trust and obedience. We need to learn honor and respect for our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and our bosses. Most importantly, we need to learn to follow and obey our Father God. Are His earthly representatives infallible? No. Yet we can learn to disagree or even go another way without showing dishonor.  

Make It Personal: Are there ways you are actively choosing to honor your parents? Are there “hot spots” where you are ready to break loose and say some hurtful things? If you are feeling smug, have you said anything about your in-laws that you prefer your spouse did not overhear? Maybe you are kind and respectful to their faces but have unkind things to say about them to others. Repent and start anew. Learn to honor others as you develop honor, respect, and love for God.  

Pray: Father God, help me to honor my parents and to honor You also as my heavenly Father. I see that You are always good and that honoring You with my words and behavior is so important. Help me to do this in my imperfect relationship with my parents. Help me to stay humble and helpful in my interactions with children – my own, when and if I have them – and other children as well. Help me to be respectful of others in authority over me, also. You are so wise to instruct us about how to treat our parents, gently teaching us how to relate to You as well. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Read: Ephesians 6:1-3; Matthew 15:1-9; Romans 12:9-10; 1 Peter 2:16-18 

Weekly Memory Verse: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24, ESV