I had a conversation with some young people in my neighbourhood; one young lady said, “my mother gets on my nerves when she instructs, ‘clean your room,’ ‘wash the dishes,’ ‘attend to your kid brother, ’blah… blah…blah. My mother drives me nuts, she has no clue what it is like to be young.” Another young guy said, “my Dad is too controlling, he is always in my business, he checks my text, Facebook, WhatsApp, emails, and is always asking me questions that I am not ready to answer. I’m happy whenever he is out of town for a business trip or funeral.” Most of us as youth can relate to the situation of this young lady and gentleman, but the scripture clearly points out to us that we are to honour our parents. “Honour your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you…”
In practical terms, how can we honour our parents? I believe we can do that by understanding and speaking very well of them and by refusing to speak evil of them no matter the situation. We live in an era where it is considered very therapeutic to air our dirty laundry. We think little of telling the world exactly what we think of our spiritual authorities, our bosses or our parents. Yet the Bible warns us that we owe honour and respect to all of the authorities God has placed over us (Romans 13:7). Scripture warns us that our words have the power to extend honour or dishonour. We cannot miss that in the Old Testament, the penalty for cursing parents is the same as the penalty for assaulting them (Exodus 21:15-17, Leviticus 20:9), for the root sin is the same. To curse parents or to strike parents is to violate the fifth commandment as well as the sixth. We need to speak well of our parents, both living and dead to everybody in our sphere of influence, including those in our churches and communities.