So, we left off last time with the plan to go over some examples of how we can honor our parents, and what we could do to fight the trend (at least in OUR circle of influence) of disrespect in general that seems to be pervading our society (and world).
First- parents of children/kids/teenagers: You are the parent. You are the boss. You must remember that you have the authority, and the final say in any matter between you and your child. I don't mean to encourage parents to act as tyrants, but we need to realize that no matter what our children are to show respect toward us; they must be respectful in how they answer us; they must not lash out at us without being corrected, and if need be, disciplined. I know we all have seen the typical scene in the grocery store: the child is crying and carrying on for something he/she wants, and the parent is coddling them to a sickening level, and you wonder just who is the authority (I take that back-it is obvious who is the authority!). Sometimes I think we forget that we don't always (if ever) have to give a reason for our answer to our child if we say no to them. And they need to learn to accept what we say without pouting, being angry, complaining, etc. Parent, if you tell your child no, or you administer correction to them, DO NOT let them walk away with an angry tone in their voice, or with obvious anger in their countenance toward you-it is a sign of rebellion in their heart. They are only obeying in body because they have to; they are not submitting their will to you as their parent. If we let them get away with this, it will sew the seeds of further rebellion in their hearts toward us, and towards authority in general. This can have huge ramifications later in their dealings with God. If they have not learned to submit their body AND mind/emotions/will, they have not learned to submit to authority at all! We must labor with our children, seeking to teach them to honor us, and respect authority in general. (a separate issue, but relevant to mention here briefly is that we must teach them what is true authority is-ie. some strange adult telling them to come over to their car, etc, is NOT authority that they need to submit to. Our children need to be taught how to deal with that if it were to happen, and that they need not obey that person. There's much more to be said about this, but it will have to be dealt with in a different post). The bottom line, parent, is that we need to remember that WE are the parent, and thus have a position delegated by God to us-a mandate rather, that we teach our children to honor their parents, thus having respect for all true authority. We do this both by direct instruction, AND by our action or inaction. Parent, if you do not deal with that sassy attitude; if you do not deal with their sour disposition; if you let them speak disrespectfully toward you, you ARE in fact teaching them to dishonor you, and to be rebellious toward authority by your inaction. On another note, if you act disrespectfully toward authority yourself; if they see or hear you being dishonoring to your parents, etc., you are teaching them by example how to not honor you.
That said, we must realize that the command to honor parents has no deadline; it does not end at a certain age, and is not even cancelled by death. Our speech toward them, or about them must be honoring always. As adults, it means taking care of them physically, financially, etc. (I know of 3 examples of this over the last few years, and though it has been hard-emotionally and physically draining, I believe it is so important in the long run-it has been an example to me of how we are to endeavor to the end to honor our parents by doing all we can to care for them in their latter years.)
There is far more that could be said about this, and surely you yourself have thought of many things that could be added, but I need to end this here for the sake of time and length! At the very least, my hope is to get you (us) thinking more about how we can battle this trend of disrespect and dishonor all around us. The Apostle Paul said that this would increase exponentially in the last days. But may it not take a foothold in my home, nor yours as we move toward the soon coming of the LORD and KING, YESHUA THE MESSIAH!