Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 2)
Parents: To Honor
Hear, my son, your father's instruction
And do not forsake your mother's teaching;
Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head,
And ornaments about your neck.
Proverbs 1:8-9 (NASB)
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first Commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.
Ephesians 6:1-3 (NASB)
To honor our parents is commanded.* God's Proverbs abound with this instruction.** If we dishonor them, we'll be punished, regardless of what we think they deserve.*** Obedience is also commanded of children during their formative years, even our most notable prodigies.
Twelve-year-old Jesus was all that and more. But on a group trip to Jerusalem, young Jesus hung back without His parents. He was eager to start working for God. Once found and reminded of their concern, 'He continued in subjection to them' (Luke 2:51). Consequently, 'Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men' (Luke 2:52). Conclusion? Obedience brings blessings.
When our King grew into His destiny, He spoke a startling clarification: 'He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me' (Matthew 10:37).**** Therein, once we achieve maturity, honoring parents is still God's Order, but preferring them over Him is sin.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: When you honor your earthly parents, you honor the Lord Who assigned them. If they haven't been so good to you, or worse--committed painful mistakes, your show of mercy and forgiveness creates a remarkable witness. They may fall down at the Healer's Feet Who transforms ashes into beauty.
To Be Continued...
* Short article: What does it mean to honor my father and mother? http://www.gotquestions.org/honor-father-mother.html
** See Proverbs 6:20, 15:20, 19:26, 20:20, 23:22, 28:24, 30:11-12, 30:17, 31:1
*** Short article: How do we honor an abusive parent? http://www.gotquestions.org/honor-abusive-parent.html
**** Gill's Exposition of the Bible on Matthew 10:37: 'He that loveth father or mother more than me,... The design of these words, is not at all to lessen the due affection of children to their parents; or to detract from the respect and esteem, in which they ought to be had by them: it is the duty of children, to love, honour, and, obey them; who have been the means of bringing them into the world, and of bringing them up in it; nor do any of the doctrines of Christ break in upon the ties and obligations of nature, or in the least set aside any of the duties of natural religion: but the intent of this passage is, to show, that as Christ is infinitely above all creatures, he is to be loved above the nearest and dearest relations and friends; being God over all blessed for ever, and also the Saviour and Redeemer; which itself, makes him more amiable and lovely than a common parent. That man therefore, that prefers father and mother to Christ, and their instructions, and orders, to the truths and ordinances of Christ: who, to please them, breaks the commands of Christ, rejects his Gospel...' http://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/10-37.htm
**** See also Matthew 12:46-50: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+12:46-50
**** Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on Matthew 12:46-50:: 'Christ's preaching was plain, easy, and familiar, and suited to his hearers. His mother and brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him, when they should have been standing within, desiring to hear him. Frequently, those who are nearest to the means of knowledge and grace are most negligent. We are apt to neglect that which we think we may have any day, forgetting that to-morrow is not ours. We often meet with hinderances in our work from friends about us, and are taken off by care for the things of this life, from the concerns of our souls. Christ was so intent on his work, that no natural or other duty took him from it. Not that, under pretence of religion, we may be disrespectful to parents, or unkind to relations; but the lesser duty must stand by, while the greater is done. Let us cease from men, and cleave to Christ; let us look upon every Christian, in whatever condition of life, as the brother, sister, or mother of the Lord of glory; let us love, respect, and be kind to them, for his sake, and after his example.' http://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/12-50.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.