Matters of Faith: Honor Your Father and Mother



by Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.


Ephesians 6:2-3 (NKJV)

“Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”


As I contemplated the subject of this week’s column, I thought about the directive to “honor your father and mother.” You see, April 3rd would have been my Mother’s 83rd birthday and I wanted to honor her by sharing what her influence has meant to me throughout my life.


We are instructed from the Old Testament to the New Testament to honor our parents. Exodus 20:12 says “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” The second part of this verse is what Paul was referring to when he wrote to the Ephesian church when he wrote, ”with promise.” When we honor our parents, we are promised that our days would be long on the land that the Lord is giving to us. The promise, made to the Israelites, is now a part of our promised inheritance as New Testament followers of Christ. If I can use my own life as an example; I am 20, soon to be 21 years older than my mother was when she departed this life to become a child of eternity. I’ve never failed to honor her in word, thought and deed. As I have been obedient to the mandate, the Lord has been faithful to His promise.


Some may have had parents who weren’t there for them, maybe abandoned, abused or even molested them. The Bible never mentions anything about the treatment we received as children as a condition for the blessings He promised, only that we are to honor our parents. The Bible does say that fathers are not to provoke their children to anger (V. 4), but that is not the determining factor for the blessings we are promised. The responsibility is on the children to honor their parents. In other words, our blessings are not contingent on how our parents treat us, they are determined on how we honor them.


You have to make a conscious decision to honor your parents. Did I mention that it has been 44 years since my mother took her last breath? My mother only knew me for two of my teen years, never as an adolescent or as an adult, but, (and I’m sure that I can speak for my siblings as well), we honor her for what she did for us in the short time we had her with us. If it were not for our mother, we would not be here. I personally would not be able to ride a bike, climb a tree, or even knell at my bed at night to ask God’s blessings upon my family and friends. She taught me all of those things. Yes, I honor my mother, as I honor my father. I don’t do it trying to earn the promise, I do it because of my love of God. He made a promise to bless those who honor their parents, and the Lord cannot and will not break His promises. Because He promised, I, like you, can expect to receive blessing after blessing and see wonders that never cease.


We have this commandment with promise; “Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”


Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv is President/CEO of The JLR Company, and an associate minister at both Goodwill and Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx and hosts Matters of Faith – The Radio Show on Soul 1 Radio (internet), Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM.  Note: You don’t have to talk, but you can access the show by calling in to 626-226-1448.   

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