This week we learned about the commandment to honor our parents, but how does that look after a person gets married? How should a couple properly honor their parents when scripture says they should leave their father and mother?
To describe this challenge, let me illustrate with this: I love to weld – there is something amazing about taking two different pieces of steel, positioning them just like I want them and making something new. After the process is complete, it is hard to remember the new creation ever being two individual pieces. There are occasions that I change my mind and decide to remove the two pieces, if my weld was good, the two pieces of steel are both severely damaged as I cut the weld apart as they truly have become one piece. That is an accurate picture of marriage, the new union is meant to last the course of time and never to be broken apart.
As we read Genesis 2:24, we learn that a new couple is to do 3 things: leave, cleave and become one flesh. As we read these verses, it is important to understand that the parental authority relationship is a temporary one, whereas the marital relationship is permanent and “welded together” for a lifetime (see Matthew 19:6).
So here is the challenge, when a couple has successfully “left mom and dad,” how do they honor them?
Scripture is very clear about caring for our parents later in life, especially if one of them has passed away. We read these words in 1 Timothy 5:4 “But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.”
Aside from the honor of caring for our parents later in life, there are many ways to honor them while still abiding by the “leave” principle in Gen 2:24. How about these: Advice (I love when my son asks my advice on something…I feel honored by that). Other acts that might bring honor are timely visits, calls, cards, mowing their lawn or tending to a flower bed.
In God’s wisdom, He has commanded us to honor our parents… it is up to each of us to honor them the best way we know how.