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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Graber

Honoring Thy Father and Mother

“Pay attention to your father, and don’t neglect your mother when she grows old.” Proverbs 23:22 (CEV)

I love Jesus, but I don’t always honor my parents the way I should (even though the Bible tells me to). They’re getting older. I thought they were immortal; turns out I was wrong (about a great many things, but let’s focus on one thing at a time). My parents take a little more time to do things they once did lickety-split, and I find myself getting impatient with them.

How many times did they honk the hurry up horn for me to get out of the bathroom and into the car to make it to church?

How often did they knock on my bedroom door to wake me up for school? What is the number of times I heard my mom say “Come on! We’re gonna be late if we don’t leave right now”?

How many times did my dad say “mach schnell” or hurry up in German?

I’ve lost count. They have been steadfast with their love and tolerance, patiently enduring my rebellion, independence and stubbornness.

Now, I’m counting my own “patience” ticks. My dad used to run alongside my bicycle. He took us on trips and was up before us and the last one to go to bed. My mom used to go to events almost every night of the week. Now, I’m waiting for them, biting the “hurry up” before it leaves my tongue in place of a gentler, “That’s okay. Take your time.”

Patience isn’t my strong suit anyway, but once again, my parents are teaching me another new skill. Mom walks with a cane, now, and Dad takes a little more time rigging up his fishing poles. Yet, I find I need this time with them before God calls them home.

At this time in their lives, one of the greatest honors I can give my parents is presence and patience. They have been steadfast with their love for me and patient (oh, there are stories of stubbornness, and if you have a moment, they will bend your ear). My dad lives with me now and still helps me out when I need help; my mom still checks up on my every day. And to honor them where they are in their stage of life requires that I model the ways they have shown love to me.

…but I also have a divine example. Maybe you are expecting a commandment here, but that's not it...

How patient is our heavenly father! God remains steadfast and patient as we navigate these kinds of shifts in life. I love the words in 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV), offering up a reminder that everyone will come to the end of days, and that God’s love is steadfast:

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

God is just waiting for us to repent of our sins and rejoice in him! God is not hurried. His time is not our time, but God gives us the example of enduring patience and unconditional, agape, love.

My parents committed to love me and keep me safe; God's promise is paradise in heaven. My parents raised me in to know Jesus and love God; my God, my heavenly father, sacrificed His son for my salvation. How can I not feel humbled by these honorable favors?

One thing my parents are more of now is wise...and I get the benefit of learning from that wisdom--even at my age...ahem...50. I'm still learning about my Heavenly Father, God (who remains steadfast and ever patient with me), and my parents are still steadfast and patient--waiting for me to overcome stubborn. But, I love them. I hope my post today at least sheds light on the ways I appreciate my parents guidance and nurturing, the ways they unflaggingly remained loving--even when I failed miserably.

God’s not finished yet, and neither are we until the time of the end of days when Jesus returns. Until then, I will keep doing the unfinished work God has planned for me–part of which is being patient and loving to my wonderful parents, as Proverbs 23:22 (CEV) instructs: “Pay attention to your father, and don’t neglect your mother when she grows old.”

If your mom and dad or even one of them is still living, reach out and check on them today. If they are not, lift up a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessings of rememberance.

Wishing you peace that passes understanding and patience today,


1 Comment

Oct 25, 2022

Cherish every moment you have with them. I wish I could have 5 more minutes with mine.

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