Honoring Parents
By Robert Fetveit

I had a dream last night. I don’t often remember my dreams, but last night I had a dream that I did remember. Dreams are very subjective, but often the interpretation of our dreams can be helpful, leading us into healing of painful memories or helping us to cope with our current stresses.

My dream was about a play that I was in. There was no script, but as actors we were all told the setting and the nature of the story we were about to act out. The dream was about death. It was set around the funeral of a loved one. All the actors were to get into character and then make up the dialog and side stories as the play progressed….but always with the ending in mind. The end was death. It is inevitable; we are all going to die. I’m going to die, you are going to die; we are all going to die.
I know what my dream was about. It was about life; the life we all live. We all have been given an opportunity to either write our own script, or to just play along and go through the paces with someone else’s script. Life is a collection of choices. I want my life to follow the convictions and dreams that God has given me, because He knows best! But the dream was also more specifically about what Kathie and I are going through right now!

Over the past several months we have been processing through a difficult time. At the first of the year the Lord shared with us that this would be a year of storms. We were assured that if we would call upon Him, He would surely help us in time of need. He has been faithful to give us grace each time the storm rages. But, just like my dream, we have often felt unprepared, waiting for each new day to unfold, unable to plan the next step because of the uncertainty of our situation.

At the end of February Kathie’s mother, Marian, began to have increased physical problems. For most of the last three months she has been in the hospital or in a residential care facility. Kathie’s dad, Les, called while we were in Japan asking Kathie to come and help him and her mother.

Kathie came back early from Japan and spent over a month helping them. When I returned from Asia the end of April we traveled back to Idaho for a few weeks in May. But Marian’s condition worsened and Kathie flew back to Phoenix. I was supposed to help someone with a week of intensive ministry in Coeur d’Alene but felt that I needed to be here to support Kathie and help take care of her parents. This opportunity has been a blessing and a joy for both of us even though we are in the middle of the storm.

One of the lynch pins of the principles that we teach is based on the fifth commandment; “Honor your father and your mother.” Most of the problems in our culture, in families (including personal problems), or failures can inevitably be linked to the breaking of this commandment.

Deut. 5:16: Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. KJV Paul writes in Eph. 6:2 that this is the first commandment with a promise. We have learned that in whatever way we consciously or unconsciously honor our parents life will go well for us. The opposite is also true; in whatever way we consciously or unconsciously dishonor our parents life will not go well for us.

What does it mean to honor our parents? The Hebrew word used in this verse is kabad, which means heavy or having weight. It also means to accept and make happy, and to place high value upon, to forgive and to bless.

Japan and most all of Asia is a very “honorific” region of the world.

They show respect for others and especially for elders. They have a code of honor for parents. What we have discovered, however, is that while, on the surface, they act very honorable, they are often harboring resentments in their hearts towards parents. Perhaps this is also true of many here in the U.S.

Honoring parents can be very difficult. Some parents have done things that don’t seem worthy of honor. It can be very difficult to honor someone who has done dishonorable things. When that happens it is important that we separate position from character. We honor those in authority because of their God given position. Parents must also give an account to God for their decisions and actions.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. NIV I know that when I was young I was often a burden and not a blessing to my parents. The Holy Spirit has been faithful to help me recall the times when my attitudes and actions were dishonoring to my father and mother. I know that many of the difficulties that Kathie and I experienced in our marriage were directly connected to my disobedience to God’s commandment to honor parents. Through recognition, confession and repentance, and then seeking and receiving forgiveness, God is faithful to destroy the old structures and pour out the blessing that is promised.

My mother and father passed away several years ago and I was not able to be with them and help to take care of them during their last days, so being here with my “adopted” parents is a real blessing to this orphan. I am thankful for an opportunity to say “I love you” and to do what I can to help.

These are the days of Elijah. In Malachi 4:5-6 God says that He will pour out the spirit of Elijah in the last days to return the hearts of children to their parents and hearts of parents to their children.
Certainly a big part of honoring parents is being willing to help them when they ask. Please pray for us as we pray for you that we all might honor our parents in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.

Here to h.e.l.p. in love,