Q: What does it mean to honor my father and mother?
Suggested Daily Reading: Ephesians 6:1-9
God created everything. He is king over all. God has chosen to govern us through others. While the Lord has ultimate or supreme authority, He delegates or appoints others to rule in different spheres or areas of life. For example, God has provided fathers and mothers to govern in our families, teachers in our schools, directors in our businesses, office-bearers in our churches and officials in our civil governments.
How am I to respond to those whom God has placed in authority over me? We are to:
- Honor them – To show them due respect for the position in which God has placed them (Ephesians 6:2)
- Promptly obey them – To carefully do that which I am commanded to do and not to do that which I am forbidden to do (Ephesians 6:1)
- Willingly serve them – To serve from my heart; not grudgingly, reluctantly or hypocritically (Ephesians 6:5-6)
- Patiently bear with their weaknesses – To not criticize or disrespect them because of their mistakes or inconsistencies (1 Peter 2:18-19)
- Pray for them – To recognize their need for God’s help to rule well; to perform their duties as God instructs them and holds them accountable to do (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Wonder if the person in authority tells me to do one thing, but does not live that way himself or herself? You are still called to obey. But this is difficult to do! Yes, it is but today’s daily reading can help you. It speaks about obeying those in authority in the Lord and obeying from your heart as unto Christ and doing the will of God from the heart. Focus on a worthy God and a perfect Christ, not on an imperfect person who is in a position of authority.
There is one situation when we are not to obey those in delegated authority over us. That is when they command us to do something that goes against God’s (the ultimate King’s) command; or when they forbid us to do something that God commands us to do (Acts 4:18-19). In all other situations, we are to obey in the Lord, for this is right (Ephesians 6:1).
Are you praying to live in this spirit of obeying those placed in authority over you? Are you praying for them as well? What helps can you use to more willingly obey people who are in authority but who do not act as respectfully as others?