Updated: Dec 22, 2021
Welcome to Badge of Honor Family Ministry and Presentations. Since this is a ministry that honors the family I’d like to talk about what the Bible says about honoring moms. I'd also like to tell you about a gift that you can give mom that will not only honor her but will keep giving honor for years to come. It's called The Tribute.
The 10 Commandments
We’re going to start by looking in Exodus 20 at the Ten Commandments. Notice God called these the Ten Commandments, not the 10 suggestions. We need to take them to heart. When you read them, you’ll observe the first 4 commands talk specifically about honoring God. In all we do and in all of our relationships, honoring God comes first and is most important.
The ‘Greatest Commandment’ which is the ten boiled down to two, says to love God and then love people. By loving God first, He can give you the wisdom, knowledge and power to love others. The first 4 are. . .
*Worship God only.
*Don't worship false gods.
*Don't take God’s name in vain and
*Keep the Sabbath Day holy.
Most people know the last 5 commandments; don’t murder, commit adultery, steal, lie and/or covet. But right in the middle at number 5, right after his 4 about God and before He goes through those last 5, He tells us to honor our father and our mother and that it comes with a promise. Little is said about the 5th Commandment and some consider it to be the ‘forgotten commandment’.
In today’s society, instead of honoring our parents, many bash and blame their parents for their faults and failures. A number of today’s popular TV shows portray parents in an unfavorable manner. Our parents can become a landfill where we dump our failures and mess-ups if we’re not careful.
5th Commandment Most Profound
I believe that because of where God has placed this commandment, He is showing us its importance. It’s as if God bolded it, underlined it, highlighted it and put an exclamation point at the end of it. It may be the most profound commandment of the 10. Here’s what it says. . .“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
In Ephesians 6:1-3, Paul restates the importance of honoring mom and dad. He said “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 go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
What Paul is saying is that of the Ten Commandments, the fifth is the only one which comes with a positive ending; the assurance of a blessed long life. Even though the Ten Commandments were given by God to Moses to the Israelites, they apply to everyone. Children who disrespect their parents will usually have a harder life. Learning to respect authority is key to personal success.
As children, we feel our parents need to show honor to us but our parents need to be honored as well. The promise goes 2 ways. That means the benefits of the 5th Commandment go to us as well as our parents. Honor can give parents the hope that they need when they need it most. Most of us do not understand the power we have to bring joy and happiness to our parents lives.
Book 'The Tribute'
In his book ‘The Tribute’, Dennis Rainey says the the 5th Commandment has a number of other hidden benefits.
*Our quality of life may be tied to the 5th Commandment.
*It helps us become healthy adults.
*It moves us toward Spiritual Maturity.
*It forges a deeper relationship with our parents.
*Our parents are waiting for us to give back.
*Our parents need affirmation too.
*Our parents are waiting to be honored and shown dignity.
*Our legacy is tied to honoring our parents.
*It pleases God.
*It could mean the survival of our nation.
So what does ‘Honor’ mean? It means to respect greatly; regard highly; and to esteem. So, the 5th Commandment is asking us to respect, regard and to esteem our mom and our dad.
Sometimes, it can be hard to show honor to a parent, if respect, regard and esteem hasn’t been returned to us. A wall can be built between you and your parent. Did God say to honor your parents only if they were perfect? No! The verse doesn’t say to honor only if your parents treated you well.
Honoring does not endorse irresponsibility or sin either. It commands that we do it no matter what. We are to honor regardless of performance. We are to live by faith. Our negative emotions can hold back positive thoughts. Writing a tribute could help us tear down any walls that have been built.
The Principle of Release
What does the bible say about how we should respond when someone wrongs us (like a parent) or anyone for that matter? I love this verse from John 20: 22-23. It tells us to “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
What God is saying here is that when you choose to forgive someone who has wronged you, you actually release those sins of those who hurt you. This is powerful principal. It’s called the ‘Principal of Release’.
But here’s the catch, God also says that if you choose not to forgive someone who has wronged you, you retain those sins. Someone once said, “Un-forgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.”
Let me give you an example: Let’s say a parent, friend or family member said something that hurt your feelings or did something that hurt you. You know, it really made you mad. You are ticked! You're livid! You're steamed! You can’t believe what they said or did to you that hurt you so much. You keep dwelling on it over and over in your mind. You can’t sleep at night because of what they said. You're furious. You're so stinking mad right now, you could spit.
Now, who is your un-forgiveness hurting? You or the person who hurt you? The other person probably doesn’t even realize that you're upset. According to Bible, when you don’t forgive, you actually retain the venomous poison of that person’s sin. In other words, choosing un-forgiveness can be deadly.
That’s why Jesus said at the beginning of that verse that we need to “Receive the the Holy Spirit.” Why? Because forgiveness can be hard. We can’t do it under our own human strength. We need the Holy Spirit’s power, grace, truth and mercy to forgive. Ephesians 6:10 tells us to “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”
So, even if your parents have hurt you, God is in the business of reconciliation. Healing can occur. Writing a tribute could be the answer. But, we have a choice to make. We can choose to be bitter or we can choose to get better. We can choose to blame our parents for what they did or we could choose to move forward by forgiving them. I’d encourage you to choose to forgive and release the venomous toxins that those sins hold.
Forgiveness can go both ways. Many times, the children need to ask for forgiveness for the hurts they’ve caused their parents. Sometimes, we hurt our parents just as they hurt us. As children, our nature is self-centeredness. It’s all about me. We need to take responsibility and ask for forgiveness. Have faith that God will use your faithfulness for good and tear down any walls that might have been built up over the years.
Let me tell you about my relationship with my mom. Overall, I probably had a pretty normal relationship but I do know that there were times I probably tried her patience and hurt her.
One of those times was when I was probably in middle school and my mom had some of her friends over at our house. I loved to torment my little sister who was 5 years younger. This particular day, I just happened to have a yo-yo and was seeing how close I could come to my sisters head by throwing it out and having it come back. Well, guess what happened? The string broke and the yo-yo hit my sister square in the face and of course she broke down bawling.
Needless to say, mom was not happy with me. She had me sit in a chair and grabbed the flyswatter. She started to spank me with it because she was so upset. She was hitting me as hard as she could to try to get me to cry and I knew it. So I was determined in my mind not to cry.
Guess what that did to my mom? She got even angrier with me and hit me even harder with the flyswatter. I still wouldn’t cry. So, she would try to hit me even harder. She got so frustrated that she broke down and started crying in front of me, my sister and all of her friends.
Guess how that made me feel? Like a terrible schmuck. I felt really bad at that point and knew I had really messed up.
Another time was right after I had graduated from high school. It was the summertime between graduating and going off to college. Me, my brother and some friends went camping up north to celebrate my new freedom.
Went for a Ride
We decided to go for a ride one evening looking for girls and to party. I was the driver. I came to a corner to make a lefthand turn and noticed a car full of hot babes. I put on my "Hey, I'm cool" face when, CRASH! I hit a motorcyclist. I sent the motorcyclist to the hospital, totaled my car, was ticketed for reckless driving and was sued for $100,000. I’m sure mom was not really thrilled with me about that one either.
There were other stories like the time I put a hole in our living room picture window with my b-b gun, dropped a dummy on a car that me and my brother and some neighborhood friends hung out over the road from our treehouse and probably too many to write in this post.
My first few months of freedom at college, I didn’t go back home. I was ready to spread my wings and fly. I really didn’t want to see my parents or be around them. But after a month or two, I started to miss mom’s home cooked meals, getting my clothes washed, freshly baked cookies, my bed and a lot more.
Home a Haven
When I did come home, mom made a point to make home a haven by cooking my favorite meal of Swiss steak with morel mushrooms. Oh goodness! That was so good!! Plus, she’d always make some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
After getting married and starting to have my own family, I came to a realization what a great mom I had. As we grow through our teen years and into adulthood, we sometimes start to see our parents in a different light. They did their best with the bits of wisdom that they had - just like us. Kids don’t come with a Owner's Manual and being a parent is hard.
So, back to my mom……Mother’s Day was coming up and I was trying to figure out what I could do to let her know how much I appreciated her. I had listened to a broadcast on christian radio one day. The speaker, Dennis Rainey from Family Life Today talked about his book ‘The Tribute’ and how to write a tribute to your mom for Mother’s Day or your dad for Father’s Day. I bought the book and read it. After reading it, I decided to write a tribute to my mom.
In the book, Dennis said you need to give your parents 3 gifts when you honor them. Gift Number One is the gift of understanding. We need to understand that no parent is perfect. Gift Number Two is the gift of compassion. In other words, we need to realize that it’s not easy being a parent. Gift Number Three is the gift of forgiveness. You can apply the Principle of Release from John 20: 22-23 to this one.
Read my tribute at 'Honoring Mom-The Tribute: Part 2' by clicking "Here".