Step One: Offer honor and respect where it’s due
No other gods, only me. …Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous God… Honor your father and mother so that you’ll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you. Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.” Deuteronomy 20:3-5, 12 MSG; Ephesians 6:1-2 MSG
In this world, we offer honor, respect and admiration to a lot of people, but it’s usually people who have never and will never do anything for us. We respect athletes, musicians, actors, and even pastors, more than we honor those whom God has commanded us to honor. When I look at my life, the times I was successful versus the times of frustration and failure, I can clearly see that in the prosperous times, I was honoring God above anyone else. And, as a consequence of that, I was respecting my parents and their wishes. I did not always agree with what they asked me to do. In fact, there were times I resented both God and my parents for their “rules,” which were clearly designed to suck all of the fun out of my life (read that last line with the sarcasm that it was intended to have).
I think that what many of us fail to realize is that God is not kidding when He says He is a jealous God. God is not going to stand by and allow His children to place false gods before Him. If you are not getting what you want out of life, step back and consider whether or not you are putting anything or anyone before God, including and especially yourself. Are you honoring God with every aspect of your life? Are you giving Him praise for achievements and accomplishments or are you taking all of the credit? Are you considering how your goals and actions affect the Kingdom of God? Because the Word of God says to seek His Kingdom first, and yet, many times, we seek adoration rather than offering it to the One who makes our very existence possible.
In addition to God’s command to love Him more than anything. He also said to honor our parents. You have no idea how many times I have heard a child say (of their parents or teachers), “If they want respect; they need to give respect!” And, bless their hearts, they think that they are standing on good footing when they say it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have met some horrible parents and we all probably know parents that either should not be parents or whose children should not follow in their footsteps. Nonetheless, children must still honor or respect their parents, as instructed by God, and it does not stop when you turn eighteen and think you are grown.
I was awesome at respecting my parents while I was in their house. That is not to say that I was perfect, but I tried to be as obedient as I could. Oh, but when I left home and became an adult, I started to think that my parents knew nothing! They didn’t know what was best for me. This was my life! And, when I look back at the brightest times of my life, they were the times when I lived my life in a way that showed respect for my parents. Likewise, when I think of the darkest times of my life, they were the times when I treated my parents as if they were out to get me rather than trying to guide me. I understand that I have a unique situation with saved, Godly, married parents. Parents are not always easy to get along with, even in my Huxtable-esque family, but they are always to be respected. Not to the point where you place them on a higher pedestal than God (because I have caught myself doing than a time or two), but we should respect and honor God and our parents if we wish to get everything we want in life.
Tomorrow, I will continue with this discussion of how to get everything you want in life, so stay tuned…Ms. EV